Mother’s Day is right around the corner and many of us are getting ready to celebrate the amazing women in our lives. As I began to reminisce on the myriad of things the mother figures in my life have taught me, for some reason, I started to think of my “Sweet Ol Mama Dean”. Okay, what is that? Well, I’m glad you asked. Lemme explain…
During our transition into Zetaland, my line was asked to keep an important token of Zeta with us at all times. ALL TIMES. We belovingly (and sometimes begrudgingly) referred to this item as “Sweet Ol’ Mama Dean.” We fought long and hard to make sure we kept Sweet Ol Mama Dean in our possession. We kept her near and dear to our heart, literally. Although we couldn’t unwrap the small trinket at the time, we knew it held significance importance to us in regards to our Zeta journey. Til this day, I keep Mama Dean with me.
As I wrote this, I laughed at the craziness that ensued from keeping our sacred Sweet Ol Mama Dean in tact. This unique Zeta experience reminded me of how we sometimes receive advice from our Mamas, Grandmamas, Madeas and Mawmaws. When their words of wisdom are given us, we may not understand why we need it or what we need it for. Whether we welcome their suggestions or pridefully accept them after our downfalls, we know that everything shared with us is a gift. And it’s in those trying times that we remember the intimate moments of exchange that carry us through the most challenging situations.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share some of the stories behind the most memorable words of wisdom the women in my life have shared with me. Let me introduce you to mi familia!
pearl lena (Maw maw) – great grand mother
My Mawmaw was the great grandmama I visited every summer and holiday in a small country town in Mississippi. She was the matriarch of our family. Our spiritual leader. And our home.
My MawMaw taught me about the power of the V TOO early in my childhood lol. But I’m glad she did. Outside of the obvious “Keep Ya Legs Closed” speech, my great grandmother instilled in the power of self worth beyond my sexuality. She helped me realize that personality, morality and intelligence is what makes a person beautiful and attractive. She also explained that since Biblical times, the misuse and misunderstanding of sex has lead to the downfall of many great men (& women) because of it’s complex nature (emotional ties, spiritual ties, etc). Pearl Lena made me understand that sex was a gift from God and I should save my gift for someone who will value my temple as well as everything that dwells in it. I am forever grateful for this realization.
I never knew why Pearl Lena would either start or finish pretty much ALL her sentences with ” If it’s in God’s will…”. That is, until I was older. I find myself using it now when I leave my desires, my worries, my cares and my doubts on the alter. I pray that my decisions align with what God has for me . If I’m living by his Word, I have no doubt that it will. But if I need more time to “go through the process” before I walk in my purpose, so be it. This mentality helps me evaluate my actions, plan for things in my control and learn how to truly, “Let go and Let God”.
dorothy (grandma dorothy) – grandmother – Dad’s side
My Grandma Dorothy is my Daddy’s Mom. I didn’t have too much time with her because she passed from cancer. But the time that we did have together was always joyous and sweet. She was an elementary teacher and planted the seed for my love of education.
I was always a very…..weird child. Or as my family says “Eccentric”. The fact that my Dean came to the same conclusion by naming me “EZentric Blue” is hilarious and bothersome. You could always find me (and still find me) dancing around to my own tune. My grandmother encouraged this. She wanted me to be a “carefree black girl”. Free of pretenses, unaffected by disapproving stares and completely comfortable in my creativity. When I did a jig, she’s smile and say “Dance baby, dance”. And I did. Since pre-k up until college I’ve used ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, hip hop and a little ballroom as my release. My favorite dance is my Michael Jackson stress dance. I literally go to a quite place, do a MJ pelvic thrust and whisper a “HEHE” before I go back into a tense situation. It-works-wonders!
When I used to visit my great grandmama, my grandma would come get me for a few days so we could have our girl time. Whenever we would get ready to go, she’d say ” It’s time to hit the road Jack!” I’d jet outside, throw myself on the warm pebbled country road and slap the pavement as a sign of departure. lol This phrase was not insightful at all. But it does remind me of how taking time with people you love can make the most memorable impact. I try to remember that when I’m doing things with anyone.
Lorna (Grandma Lorna) – Grandmother – Step Dad’s Side
lorna (grandma lorna) – grandmother – step Dad
My Grandma Lorna is my Step Daddy’s Mom. She was a little Jamaican angel. Her voice sounded like spring buds blossoming and her demeanor was so regal. I don’t have any pictures of her nor do I have many memories of her (conversation wise; I was really small). So I asked my Daddy what where his favorite quotes from her. This is what he told me. Clearly, she wanted him to steer away from Jezebels. But I’m sure you can use these quotes in other contexts too. lol
MaNDY (GRANDMOMMY) – GRANDMOTHER – mOTHER’S SIDE
Mandy, Mandy, Mandy. Or as one of my best friends refers to her “OG Mandy”. This is my Mama’s Mama. Also the Matriarch of our family. Her strong will, intense work ethic and burning independence has trickled down to every woman in my bloodline. Her stories of growing up in rural Louisiana with little material things but an abundance of love helps me stay grounded and focused. Did I mention her spiritual connection with Jehovah is on POINT?!
My Grandmommy would use this when we would come to a disagreement. lol. Instead of escalating an issue in a negative way, we sit down and try to get a better understanding of where each other is coming from. This exercise has taught me the value and virtue in patience. She taught me how to listen to understand rather than listen to respond. She also taught me how to dismantle pride and ask for clarity. Sometimes, we feel like we need to know and do things all by ourselves, even if we have no earthly clue what we’re doing. Taking the time to ask questions and to understand other points of views and processes helps me get to my end goal faster and efficiently. But also, I learn how to live a little less selfishly in taking the time to consider others.
My Grandmommy is very fearless woman. Though in her older age she is physically weaker, she has the spirit of a lioness. The things I have seen my grandmother overcome are nothing short of SEVERAL miracles. Anytime doubt tries to rear its ugly head into her personal space, she immediately recites” GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN ME THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD!”. Then she turns into She-Hulk. So now, I tap into my spiritual She-Hulk. Or I guess, my Super Jesus! Reciting this scripture empowers me. It helps me clear my mind. It garners endless possibilities And it gives me hope. No matter the situation or circumstance. Grandmommy ushered the spirit of endless hope in me. So if you ever feel that super obnoxious positive vibe when you’re around me – blame it on OG Mandy.
linda (mommy/ma ma/maaaa/ thas my bes fran….yaass)
My Mama. Bruh. There aren’t enough words. She’s my biggest critic. My loudest cheerleader. My identical twin (so I’ve been told). My confidant. My blueprint. My God Connect. My heart. My bestie. And when I’m angry (which isn’t often, but it might be because she called me on my BS.), my supposed enemy. She’s extremely intelligent, motivated, thoughtful, inspiring and damn fine!
I feeeeeel like this is my mom’s signature quote for me, especially as of late. If anyone knows me, they know I don’t entertain my “feelings box” too often, but I’m trying to change that. My mom constantly reminds me that I can’t deal with my biggest obstacles logically until I honestly tackle how I feel emotionally. I lie to myself all the bles-sed time. If someone were to ask me today how I’m doing, I’d respond “BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED” knowing GOOD AND WELL I feel like I’m about to break at any moment.
Adulting is hard yall. And my mom knows that. But she also knows that “claiming positivity into existence” doesn’t negate the fact that I’m really feeling scared, worried, anxious and terrified of my future. Masking my true emotions won’t help me solve the problem; it will only delay it. Until I look at the root of my emotions , I won’t be able to be open with others in more practical things.
This is one of my favorite quotes – Thanks MA! This quote is usually used when I feel like I’ve lost control over my life. My Mommy will quickly state, “Nichole (my middle name- so you know she’s serious), LIVE LIFE. Don’t let life live you!” In other words, don’t let your circumstances dictate the projection of your dreams. Circumstances are temporary. Attitude is permanent. Success is determined by your attitude. It’s about how you roll with the punches. How prepared you are to take them on and how quickly you recover from a fall.
Rising above what you’re going through and being brave enough to continue to live out your dreams vigorously and intentionally creates a meaningful life. But you have to play an active role. Rather than sitting in a pitty party, turn the party out with positive thinking and positive actions. This quote helps me rejuvenate my energy, uplifts my spirits, makes me take risks and forces me to refocus. This is what keeps me going.
And that’s the end of storytime folks! I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did writing it. I wish you and the lovely ladies in your life a very blessed Mother’s Day! Tell them Chill sends her love!