This year, we celebrate "Mother's Day" today May 9th, 2021...
but of course, we should celebrate all women who are mother figures to us. Whether it's a friend, aunt, cousin and especially if it's a Grandmother.
Grandmothers, especially in "People of Color" communities have been playing "Mother" for generations. Usually the Matriarch in families, Grandmothers played (whether they wanted to or not) essential mother roles for many.
I have deep warm feelings of my maternal Grandmother and she definitely helped shape the person I am today. My siblings and I saw my Grandmother (we called her Mami; called our mother Maaaa!) every summer and most "3 King's Day" every year since I can remember. However, as I grew into a teenager, I saw this Grand Mother less frequently. The last time I saw her, I was in my early 20's while we were both visiting my parent's home in Florida.
I believed my Grandmother to have a personal relationship with nature. Being from the Caribbean, my Grandmother was always seen in her garden, inspecting vegetable beds, tenderly touching leaves and whispering to trees. She often appeared transfixed as she gazed at the ocean (Mami lived right on the coast of Puerto Rico) and the beach was part of her back yard. As a child, I thought she was magical but as an adult- I knew she was pure magic. Even if she never bore a child (she had many) she was a Mother to her land, to the ocean, to her neighbors and to all who came into her presence. She lovingly cared for everything and more importantly- felt responsible in meeting the needs of all things around her.
My Grandmother's house was one of few houses made out of concrete, brick and mortar in her little village, I believe in the 1960's, it was Mami's house and the Church nearby that were made out of concrete. I mention this because I heard her praying (she often prayed but was more spiritual and connected to Nature) but she was talking to the house- not praying How eccentric I thought and so I asked, "Mami, you're talking to the house?" She said in her calm demeanor that she was giving "thanks" to the home for providing. "But Mami, the house is not a living thing, it can't hear you or answer you. It doesn't have a soul or nothing like that."
That's when she embraced me and spoke to me in hushed soothing tones...
"This house is a beautiful home. It provides shelter and a safe haven for all those who enter it. It's where my children and their children fill the air with laughter. The walls are covered with smiles. This house stands strong against harsh elements and forces of nature. The floors provide a stable place to enter wonderful rooms. You can feel hugs when entering the kitchen. It's a place where you feel safe. How can I not be grateful? You must give thanks to all you have- for what it provides you. Show gratitude wherever possible, whenever possible. Share your positive space and when invited to others homes, be responsible enough to give it warm feelings. Give your space positive energy to drive out the negative. You must take care of your home and not just with physical repairs but with good feelings and positive energy. It's your responsibility to take care of things other than your self and outside of yourself. No- it may not have a soul but it nourishes mine and yours, doesn't it? Now- is that not worth a little bit of thanks?"
I stood there balling like a child. I was filled with so much emotion and as a child, I had no other way to process the information, the wisdom I was just granted. When I saw my mother, I told her what happened. She placed my tear-stained face in her hands and said that's what being a parent, what being a Mother feels like.
Happy Mother's Day to you all!