31 Reasons I Love My Mom

31 Reasons I Love My Mom

Last month, I shared a status on Facebook that mentioned that I had received a couple of negative comments about how much I talk about my mom. I received tons and tons of support for showing my mom love, and then one friend even suggested that I share something I love about my mom daily. Well, I’ve never been one to turn down a “dare” so I took the challenge. And now that it’s September (the challenge is over!), here’s a run down of just a few of the endless reasons I love my mom.

mommyme

Day 1: I love my mom because she gave me her heavy duty umbrella this morning and took my flimsy little umbrella. And it came in handy when I drove up to daycare and the sky was falling. My little umbrella is for sprinkle storms, lol. Thanks again ma!

Day 2: I love my mom because she helps me start my day on a positive note every morning. During my commute, I always talk to her about how we’re feeling, any new family updates, and current events. It kinda reminds me of when I was a kid and she would call me at home after I got off the bus. Back then, I thought she was magic because she could tell if something was wrong just by the way I said hello. I enjoy having someone to check in with.

Day 3: I love my mom because she has believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She reminds me of who I am when I’ve forgotten.

Day 4: I love my mom because she knew I needed a break even though I’d never ask. She came here, got Frederick, and then brought him back because she doesn’t want me on the road. Thanks again.

Day 5: I love my because she exposed me to culture and education outside of the classroom. I love to travel, and I know it’s partly because it’s second nature.
Day 6: J’adore ma maman because she always includes me in her If-I-win-the-big-lottery-wishlist.

Day 7: I love my mom because she has become the caretaker for my aunt, even though she had a million reasons not to. She’s my example of duty, love, and family responsibility. And yes, I know I skipped yesterday–I wanted to be consistent with the calendar so that I don’t have to keep looking to see what day I’m on, lol.

Day 8: I love my mom because when I was a kid, she never gave me a hard time for my preference to write her a letter when something was bothering me over talking to her. I still remember vividly putting letters on her pillow and running to my room and pretending to be sleep when I heard her walking to the back. It means a lot to me to have had someone who respects my ways of communicating.

Day 9: I love my mom because she’s a stunna. You would never guess how old she is. And she is one of those people that looks great when she’s not trying. So to you people who think I look like an undergraduate, I get it from my mama. LOL

Day 10: I love my mom because she instilled the importance of community service in me. She took us to feed the homeless on holidays, she encouraged me to tutor my peers and students in lower grades, and she never let me forget to give back to the community that supported me.

Day 11: I love my mom because I have a thousand sippy cups as a result of her quest for the “perfect” sippy cup. lol

Day 12: I love my mom because I get my niceness under pressure from her. I’ll credit my fiestiness when I’m fed up to my daddy or maybe my aunt Vernita, but I know I get my (albeit reluctant) need to try to keep my temper at bay and smooth it out if at all possible from her. She hates conflict and avoids it like the plague.

Day 13: I love my mom because she and Frederick have a secret language. When we skyped her yesterday, he started grinning and “talking” to her. I have no idea what their convo was about, but they enjoyed it.

Day 14: I love my mom because when she wanted me to divert my focus to positive things, she didn’t just say “be positive,” she gave me plenty to focus on. She’s been in my corner, she helps me physically, emotionally, and financially, and when I’m feeling like I’m missing out, I can redirect to how much help I have from her.

Day 15: I love my mom because her food is yummy. She says when she cooks for me, she cooks with love for me and my baby, and that’s why I haven’t been able to replicate a couple of her (seemingly very simple) recipes.

Day 16: I love my mom because she’s always been a real person, not a fantasy. When I go through various life experiences, she doesn’t judge me, but she shares with me similar experiences she’s been through. She’s never pretended to be perfect, and I appreciate that because she’s a true example of “how I got over”.

Day 17: I love my mom because she tells me stories about my relatives who have gone on. She lets me know that they were my guardian angels on earth too. And I wouldn’t really know that I am anything like my Aunt Vernita if my mom didn’t tell me. Happy birthday, Vernita.

Day 18: I love my mom because she raised me in church, and I still have a family at Zion Travelers to whom she gives regular updates (and they actually care!). I love my mom because she has Frederick in church when he’s in MS.

Day 19: I love my mom because she plays Wordfeud with me and gives me commentary on her other games and background life info about the randoms she plays lol!

Day 20: I love my mom because she loves ratchet TV. As intellectual as she is, you’d never guess that she enjoys watching Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos, and the who’s the daddy show (can’t think of the name). And then, because she’s so intellectual, she analyzes the personalities she sees and connects them to real life to explain why folks act so crazy. Gotta love it! (Sorry if that was a secret, Mary Robinson!!)
Day #21: I love my mom because she really took care of my hair and skin when I was growing up. She never let me sleep with stress on my hair, which meant she combed and brushed my hair every single morning. And she lathered me up with cocoa butter, aloe vera, and whatever else to make sure I didn’t have scars and such. I finally appreciate this now that Frederick is starting to come home with various scars. I also love her because she STILL takes care of my hair when she can. She will sit down and twist all this hair I have if I ask.

Day #22: I love my mom because she encouraged me to start taking advantage of kids eating free at Piccadilly so on nights like tonight when I don’t feel like cooking, I can still make sure Frederick gets his veggies. Yum. Reminds me of going to Morrison’s after church some Sundays!

Day #23: I love my mom because she has always given me space to choose my path. When faced with a fork in the road, sometimes she won’t even give me her opinion if she thinks I will just go with that instead of figuring out what I want. Case in point: when Tougaloo sent me a letter before I went back to school for 11th grade saying if I maintained my GPA I could bypass my senior year and go there on a full ride, she let me choose without pushing me in any direction. She said she didn’t want me to ever look back on life and regret a decision because I didn’t make it. I’m the master of my fate.

Day #24: I love my mom because she sticks up for me. Sometimes I get bogged down in wishing someone would speak up for me/defend me/have my back in tough situations, not knowing that my mom already has. She just may not tell me for months or years, lol.

Day #25: I love my mom because I can’t for the life of me figure out how she did laundry and ironed clothes for our family when I was growing up. It’s only two of us now, and I never feel like I’m caught up on laundry, and I definitely don’t have time to be ironing LOADS of clothes at a time. Seems like her days were made up of >24 hours, but of course they weren’t. Guess she hides the superwoman get up under her clothes, lol!

Day 26: I love my mom because she loves animals. For as long as I can remember, she’s always had love for the 4-legged companions. Even though they creep me out, her fave is long-haired cats, but she loves her grandpups tons. From Delilah (cat) to Jeremiah (dog) to Diamond (cat) to Rex (dog) to Jade (dog), there’s always been an animal around her house to soak up the extra love and compassion. Hope I didn’t miss any pets. LOL (And yes, she loves her some Smokie, and he loves her too.)

Day #27: I love my mom because even though math is my forte, I have effective writing skills because of her. She is a retired English instructor, which means when I was growing up I couldn’t finish a sentence using incorrect grammar without her interrupting me and making me correct myself. I was constantly looking in the dictionary for the correct spelling of words because she wouldn’t just tell me. I never received the kind of help i wanted when writing papers because she believed the only way to learn was to completely write the paper before she marked it up with red ink. All of that has resulted in writing skills that people seem to enjoy reading (www.nadajo.com) and that I am able to use in proofreading. Thanks, smarty pants lady.

Day #28: I love my mom because she is one of the main reasons I wanted to attend an HBCU. She took me to probably every JSU home game and several of the away games if there was bus headed there, and she made sure I was on somebody’s campus every summer.

Day #29: I love my mom because she prepared me for my future. I wasn’t afraid to stay on campus (even at 16!) and I wasn’t afraid to move to another city after college because neither was new frontier. She let me try different things and figure out things while I was growing up so that she could catch me if I fell. I still remember her telling my dad that they needed to let me go out on dates while I was still at home so that I wouldn’t get to college and lose my mind. I can still see the frown etched in his face when my first date got to the house to introduce himself a couple of days before the actual date (for which my dad didn’t even answer the door–he went and sat on the porch. LOL!).

Day #30: I love my mom because she was always the “cool mama”–every one of my friends who has been around her any time loves her. I remember being jealous of Jamie B. when she got my mom as her big sister in Christ. Lordy, I was like she’s all mine!!! LOL

Day #31: I love my mom simply because she’s my mom and she’s stuck with me for life. LOL! Thanks for bearing with me all month! Bye August!

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Lemony Snicket… with a Happy Ending

Lemony Snicket… with a Happy Ending

When some random object flies off a truck on a busy I-285 and you can’t do anything to avoid running over it and then your tire as predicted begins to get low and you have to make your way across three or four lanes to get to the shoulder where cars and trucks are zooming past, you come to a juncture in the road where you must decide:

Do I panic and let this tear form? Or do I stay calm?

Yep, that happened to me Sunday. I chose to stay calm even though my eye was tingling with the thought of a possible tear forming. But as soon as I made that decision, I stayed in good spirits for the rest of what would become your run of the mill Lemony Snicket and a Series of Unfortunate Events kinda day. Now, this is the second time I’m writing this blog post–I lost it the first time, and I’ve decided to stay calm and just retype it–but this time, I’m leaving out some details, lol.

Alright, so after calling Roadside Assistance, I called the office where I was headed for an appointment, then texted the two people I had plans with later. One asked had I called the hero truck, to which I responded “what is a hero truck?” After getting over the initial disbelief that I have lived in Georgia for 9 years and didn’t know what a hero truck was, she told me to call 511 and they would come help me for free. By then I had the dispatcher State Farm referred me to on the phone asking me questions about getting a tow, so I asked her how much it would be, took down the number, and said I would call her back. I called 511, and sure enough, they asked where I was, what kind of car, and all that. (Read: God’s plan, step #1) Then the fateful question: “Do you have a spare?” It really is a long story, but suffice it to say that my daddy took my spare out and I had no idea if he had ever replaced it, so I answered “I don’t think so.” Why? Because I just didn’t want anyone coming to help me if I didn’t know AND as I was on 285, I wasn’t getting out of my car to clear out my trunk and lift up the mat and see.

So I called the dispatcher back, and she put me on hold to locate a tow truck to take me to where my tires are under warranty. Then she came back on the line and told me that it was taking longer than usual to find someone open on Sunday, and she would call me back in 5 minutes because she wanted to make sure she didn’t drain my cell phone battery. During this time, I asked my friend to come get me because I hadn’t eaten all day, and I would just make sure I was back in time to ensure that my car got to its destination. So about twenty to thirty minutes later, I see a yellow truck pulling up behind me… Hmmm, I think to myself… Tow trucks aren’t usually yellow… Then I see State Farm on the truck. Hmmm, State Farm sent me to the dispatcher service, so I’m confused… So a lady gets out of the truck, comes to my window and tells me she’s with HERO and she’s here to help me. (Read: God’s plan, step #2) I told her that I was told they wouldn’t be able to assist because I didn’t know if I had a spare. After telling me they sent her anyway, she said, “Well let’s see.” After together putting the contents of my trunk in my back seat, sure enough, I had a spare. (Read: God’s plan, step #3) As she changed my tire, I called the dispatcher back, who is sounding really stressed and worried. As soon as I told her that I was canceling, she replied, “Oh my God, I’m so happy because you wouldn’t believe I called this entire list and either they’re not open or they don’t have a truck they can send to where you are today.” (Read: God’s solutions ain’t got nothing on ours.)

When I tell you at that very moment, all I could do is think about how blessed I am, I’m understating how I felt. I immediately called my mom to share, and of course, I love sharing with her AFTER something has happened because she worries herself into oblivion. (Love you, mom!)

That’s not the end of my Lemony Snicket day though. Here’s the rest:

1- Went to tire place to get a new one

2- They didn’t have the tire I needed, so they called the next closest, they were putting their last 4 on a car at that moment. They then called the next closest. They had it and put it on hold for me.

3- There was construction on I-75 so I drove all the way up Marietta, which was fine because I needed gas. I pull in, swipe my card, it reads “SEE CASHIER.” I go inside, they say my card went through. Manager had to go outside and reset everything. I got gas.

4- Finally got to tire place, get it changed. End of debacle. Finally.

The other component of the day that made it a happy ending was the people I encountered. There are really good people in the world, even in Atlanta. (Kidding, y’all! (kinda, lol))

  • The dispatcher I talked kept telling lame jokes as she was processing my request. She knew that there was a good possibility I could be stressed out, so she was trying to lighten me up.
  • Before anyone got to me, a guy stopped and asked me if he could change my tire. Of course, this was before I knew if I had one. Thanks, Mister, for letting me know people care!
  • The HERO lady was soo nice and way diligent. That was my first experience with them, and I’m very pleased that we have that service here. Thank you, Georgia Department of Transportation!
  • The people at the gas station were very patient, and it rubbed off on me. Well, at this point, I figured the day was just what it was and if I hadn’t been upset yet, no need to start over a gas pump, but still. I appreciated them. The manager even pumped my gas.
  • As I was walking out of the gas station, a guy stopped me just to tell me I was beautiful. No pick up lines, no asking me for my number. Just wanted to give a compliment.
  • The mechanic on duty at the first tire place I went to recognized me from when I was there to get my oil changed, so he came over to speak and to look at my tire, and he assured me everything would be taken care of.
  • The manager at the place that put the tire on hold ended up being an AKA from Cheyney in PA (’82), and we had a great convo about politics while I was waiting on my car to get its new shoe. She was so nice and a great person to meet as I ended my journey.

So all that to say, you can’t see the rainbow unless there’s a little rain. And one of my favorite quotes is

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.

Sunday could have been a monsoon if I had treated it as one. But it turned out to be a little blip in the road. I mean, yeah, I missed my social plans of the day, but I still got to my (rescheduled) appointment and ate dinner with my friend (who got to me at almost exactly the same time the HERO truck did and then followed me all over the place to make sure I got to the tire place–another person who was in that list of people who made my day). But the perspective is that things could have gone in a number of different ways, but they didn’t. And I still enjoyed the day because I allowed myself to, and because I trusted that everything would work out as they should. Now, I guess I’ll finally let my friend teach me how to change a tire, just in case that happens to me in another state. 🙂

In a Sentimental Monday Mood

In a Sentimental Monday Mood

Time for Memory Lane Monday. Ever since my Pretty Girls Rock post, my mom has been finding pics for me, and it’s sent me through lots of reflection and sentiment. My mom surprised me this weekend by sending me a Polaroid of my grandma and Vernita together, a pic I had never seen before, and it is something super special to me. So bear with me as I reminisce. I promise I’m not always so somber. 🙂

When I think of funerals, I always think of the older people in the movies who have to go to everyone and get a program as a souvenir, lol. I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those people. I really don’t like funerals, and it’s probably because I’ve been to quite a few. I go because I totally get and subscribe to the school of thought that you have to celebrate a life and send your loved one off.  And I go because the family gets together in numbers greater than usual, and we spent the whole repast laughing and telling stories. And I’ve gone to a couple where I didn’t really know the deceased but I did know a living relative who really needed the support. If you didn’t know, I am really really sensitive so I get really upset when I see other people really really upset. An empath of sorts? I don’t know, but I’ll never forget my grandma Neva’s funeral, simply because it was the first time I had ever seen my mom cry and I really felt that pain on top of my own.

But this post is not about that. It’s about the celebration of life. I spoke a lil about my grandma before, so this time I want to talk a little more about my aunt Vernita, whom I mentioned in the Broke-ology post. In my brain, Vernita was the epitome of lively and adventurous. Every time I saw her she was full of sass and style. She seemed fearless on her quest to take life by its horns. I’m sharing a couple of pictures of her, my mom’s baby sister.

foxy and looking just like my ma!

Remember to take advantage of life while you have it and keep in mind that you’re creating memories for those who will be here after you’re gone. Make them positive ones. I think of Vernita often. Sometimes I think I channel her busybody spirit. Imagine my mom’s reaction when I got my nose pierced like Vernita’s had been. Haha! She commenced to fussing and I probably laughed it off the same way her little sister would. “Oh it’s fine. No it’s not a hindrance. It’s just a little sparkle!” Now if I can just find my cousin David, her son, I’d feel great. We were very close as kids, but we haven’t talked in years and I don’t really know how to find him (and his name is really common so Facebook has been a bust). If anyone out there does pro bono P.I. work, holla atcha girl. 🙂

Anyway, give someone special a hug today. And fill your spaces with pleasant memories. I think my next art piece will have something to do with the beauty of the women in my family. You know, do something with all these pics my mom is finding for me. 🙂

And because it’s also Music Monday, here’s a flashback that will make you fuzzy inside. Happy Monday! Have a productive week!

Feature Friday: The Number Game

Feature Friday: The Number Game

So on Facebook this week, the number game blew up!  I particularly liked it because my FB friends were very positive about the people for whom they dedicated their statuses.  I only played for about 30 minutes Tuesday night, but here are a descriptions of those who sent me numbers.  Some made it into that 30 minute window, and others were sent after I stopped playing.  So needless to say, I’m blessed to know some great people. 🙂  Happy Friday!

3.14 I feel like you’re buttering me up. hmmmm lol. No really, you are the smart and super spunky lil sis that refuses to be placed in the nerd box. Keep on pursuing your dreams while enjoying every minute!

4 I used to love going to the barber shop when my stylist had a chair in there so that I could joke with you and get my eyebrows arched!  You’re a great guy, and your family is gorgeous!

17 I’m proud of you for all that you’re trying to do with your life. I want you to spend more time focusing on the good than the bad, and I promise the world will look like a better place!

20 I love that we became fast friends. From our mutual love of soul music and natural hair to your benefit-of-the-doubt giving nature, hanging out w you is always a blast!!

227 I always felt safe with you on the bus. You were always really sweet and cool to me and wouldn’t let anyone mess with me!

‎0329 I think u were my 2nd friend when I got to Clinton. So many memories, esp in orchestra. Like when u left your violin at hm and “borrowed” one and it turned out to be a viola and the whole year with Massimino. Haha

601 You are one of those least judgmental, most optimistic people I have ever met.  You can see the silver lining in any storm cloud.  I hope you never outgrow that remarkable and uncommon trait.  I love you for always being there and refocusing my perspective.  You’re beautiful inside and out, and I am blessed to have you in my corner.

‎799 You were one of the only non-freshman guys that would risk befriending a 16-yr old the 1st semester of my freshman year. I’m happy to see that you’re thriving like I always knew you would. Oh and I have a pitch to make to u soon. lol will msg you.

808 When I met you, I noticed how great you are with the kiddies!  Keep being stern yet soft with them!

1003 You and I have been through a lot, and we have such special memories.  From hating each other freshman year to being attached at the hip (and forehead haha) sophomore year through our rough patches through being grown-ups together now.  Keep being positive, keep being a trendsetter, and keep taking such good care of those cutie patooties!

1908 You are the best front a girl could ask for. When I need to lean forward, you’re right there! You are the most fabulous diva I’ve ever known, and I’m sooooo happy that we’re more than just sorors–we’re friends. I’m proud of everything you’re doing. Keep that infinite finesse going!

[Side note: How cool is it that my front and back ended up next to each other? Smooches to both of you! And no wonder I ended up going from pseudo tomboy to super girly–how could I not stuck between two super fashionistas? lol!]

1976 I remember when I met u and I’m pretty sure we changed ur opinion of good MS stock forever lol. You even married a MS magnolia! I’m very proud of you and can’t wait to meet your lil mini you!

2408 You were the cutest young kid I knew way back in the day. I’m so happy to see how well you’re doing despite adversity! Ill always be a member of your fam, even if y’all don’t see me often, lol.

7890 You and DP showed me how huge skeephi love really was. I still remember how special I felt when yall got an ad for me for the Miss Black and Gold pageant. I enjoyed being a Step Afrika groupie after the skeephi.com stint. You’re so talented and I hope life is treating you well.

46038 Being friends w your crazy, funny butt was the highlight of freshman year. Let’s see, I stood on top of a dangerous annex, spun around in a car and laughed as ur roommate cursed us out, rode Amtrak and got hit w my first snowball all w you. I know u don’t believe me, but I’m coming to Indy asap!

111169 Jr high would have never been so memorable without you. Many many laughs and I’m glad you’re still my bro after allllllll these years! Keep it funky!

384426 I’ve seen you evolve into a mature, creative, good mommy. I wish you the best in all your current and future projects. Keep up the good livin!

Feature Friday

Feature Friday

Boy, this week has been full of ups and downs, but the ups were AWESOME!! I have *three* Features, and I haven’t yet decided if I need to just spread them out over the next three weeks or if I need to find time to spill my guts about all three today.  Either way, they’re coming.  Last night’s Black in America: Almighty Debt was a well-attended event with tons of great and thoughtful dialogue.  Wednesday night I saw Night Blooms at Horizon Theatre, and the production is a must-see.  Finally, last Saturday, a couple of friends and I participated in the Atlanta Challenge, and it was uber fun.  I also owe my thoughts on a bunch of other stuff (Twist, I Dream, Soundtrack  of a Revolution, 41st and Central–I haven’t forgotten!).  Who knew I was so busy? (Yeah, I know, I know, we all did.)

So stay tuned.  And THANKS to everyone who has been joining me in all this fun!

Feature Friday: 10-10-10

Feature Friday: 10-10-10

I had several things in mind to feature today, but this special day was on my heart, so here goes. 🙂

I want to explain why 10-10-10 is an important day to me.  Y’all may think I’m crazy, but you wouldn’t be the first, lol.

If you didn’t know by now, I love numbers.  I love what they represent, I love what you can do with them, I love that they are simple yet so complex.  So what does 10 mean?  Biblically, it means divine perfection or completion.  But just numerically, it marks the end of a cycle–our decades and centuries are built on the number 10.  While it’s the end, it’s also the beginning–the first 2-digit number.

So enough of the math geek stuff, lol.  Let’s talk some Bible highlights. Of course you know there are ten commandments and that tithes are 10%.  But did you know:

  • There are ten clauses in the Lord’s Prayer,
  • Abraham endured ten trials to prove his faith,
  • Israel was represented by ten virgins,
  • There are ten I AM’s in the Book of John,
  • There are ten parables about the Kingdom,
  • There were ten righteous people found in Sodom and Gomorrah,
  • There were ten plagues,
  • Fire came down from heaven ten times, and
  • It is after the tenth recorded Passover that Jesus is crucified, the perfect sacrifice to save us.

And that’s not even almost the extent of “ten” in the Bible.  And I won’t even get into the fact that there are 3 10‘s involved.  Three represents divine perfection as well.  But I’m dedicating this one to 10. 🙂

After I realized I would not be getting married in a storybook tale right after graduate school (I never wanted to get married right after undergrad), I started hoping that I would get married on 10-10-10.  Such a symbolic way to start a union, yanno.  Clearly, that’s not happening Sunday, lol (oh yeah, and I don’t think it a coincidence that 10-10-10 landed on the Sabbath).

But y’all know me, I do plan to make myself feel special on the day.  It’ll be a great time to start a new topic of personal study, and I will start back on my hot yoga regimen, which I’ve been neglecting lately.  I also will go see this production, which will likely be a Feature one of these ole days.

But most of all, even though I may not be becoming one with anyone right now, that’s ok because I am celebrating the fact that I am living happily ever after anyway.  I’m about to embark on the first volunteer trip I’ve ever organized myself, and there are so many other things I have my hands in.  I can make myself feel special–and sometimes I forget that.  I want to take the day to remind myself that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)–I’m perfectly imperfect, and everything will work together for good as long as I’m walking my purpose. Because that’s how God designed it.  Just like He designed the number system and its involvement in all the symbolism and nature patterns and so much other stuff we don’t even always notice.

What, if anything, are you doing Sunday?  🙂  Happy Friday, lovelies!

I won!!

I won!!

Thanks to all of you out there who voted for my essay and spread the word.  I’m getting a Kindle!! I guess it’s time for me to start actually publishing my book reviews, huh?  🙂

I know I’ve been ghost lately. No worries–I’ll be posting up a storm in just a little while.  Until then, make everyday a positive, productive day!