My first piece for this month piece for this month spoke of my birth mom. I received a few messages in my inbox about how some could relate and how others thought I was a bit harsh. I want to offer this to you before I provide my declaration:
There is no substitute for the truth. Either it is or it isn’t. The truth needs no proof. Either is or it isn’t. You know the truth by the way it feels – India Arie (this song is of the same name, The Truth).
Hopefully at some point you can understand. If not, that’s okay. I live my truth authentically. I encourage you to do the same.
On a lighter and more heartfelt note, in my earlier piece, I talked about all the things that I didn’t learn as a child: how to be a woman, how to love myself, how to be proud of being black, etc. This woman I am going to introduce is one so awesome–that I can’t put into words! She is the one who saw things in me that I didn’t recognize that I had. She is the reason why I know what it means to be a woman. Maxcine Young this one is for you!
When I was 27, I lost my first apartment. I was living in Shawnee, Kansas. I had no idea what I was going to do or were I was going to go. I was ashamed to tell my family. I called my boyfriend at the time and told him what was going on. He came helped me move all of my stuff and I went back to St. Louis, Missouri. Long story short, she found out that I didn’t have anywhere to stay. When she did, she told me that I could stay with her, but said she had to talk to her husband. My dad (Old Man) and asked her husband so ‘he would think that its his idea’. I laugh now even thinking about it. I talked to him and of course he said “Yes.” This is when my training, my development as a woman, began.
The simple things I should have known at the age of 27, I didn’t. This included oral hygiene and how to carry myself as a women. This included: keeping my hair combed, and as a woman the need to keep yourself clean. Even the basic housecleaning I didn’t know, this included teaching me how to wash clothes–I hadn’t been taught this until her. With her guidance, I learned to love the skin that I am in! Maxcine Young showed me I was important, even bringing me around her family–allowing me to have an extended family; loving me more than I could love myself, giving me hope and understanding I had not had or known before. With this love, her and her family, my extended family, consistent encouraging, I began to understand what I had been lacking and what a gift I know had. This was instrumental in helping me understand that I am better than what I was bought into! In opening her home to me, opening her heart to me, she became every single thing I absolutely needed and wanted in a mom.
This is a woman from West Helena, AR, 1st born to many siblings. They cook “crowda” peas and neck bones. True southern heart and hospitality. She has been living in St. Louis since she was around the early 20s and has gone through a lot of trials in her life. However, through all of it, she has raised so many of us. She has had many people come live in her house and she has raised them and encouraged them. Lifted everyone up to make us realize we are more than who we think we. We are greater.
I want to be transparent and say to my birth mom, just this: you could only be who you were meant to be. Just because she was a chosen vessel to bring me into the world, doesn’t mean she was meant to be my mother. Maxcine Young, on the other hand, I thank God you were blessed to come into my life! You will never know the dept of how much I love you or adore you. I need you to know how I appreciate everything you have done for me. You didn’t have to do any of it, but I am so happy that I am blessed to have you. I miss you more and more every day.
I miss the moments when you let me come stay with you and we would sit and talk; either over wine and cheese, or over hot water cornbread. I can’t wait to come to Saint Louis next month to see you. You truly exemplify everything that I want to be: to have an open heart, open home, be a well of kind and loving words along with the courage to be honest and give correction in love.
My hope and prayer is that if you have a parent like my birth mom, you are given someone like Maxcine Young. I pray you have someone like her to come in your life to show you what true love really is. It is because of her, I know that I can do anything! I also know no matter how small I get, she will always say: “You are my little fat baby!”
I love you, Momma!
[Image taken from Google, fb.com/friendsofadoption.org]