I was born on June 12, 1980 to a woman in her early twenties that I’ve been calling mommy since I was able to speak. The fact that I’m in my early thirties hasn’t propelled me to upgrade to a more “adult-like” word. Mommy is still mommy no matter what the age. Although the word functions as a welcoming door to those desiring to label me a “mama’s boy,” mommy is still mommy. I’ve made several attempts to call her mom, but those have failed. I’ve even felt a bit disrespectful for having the audacity to even think that such a change was necessary, or that it was my place to attempt such a change. Why? Because mommy is still mommy.
Leaving me with my grandmother in Au-Cap Haiti, mommy went to the United States to work and set up an environment for me to one day live with her. She had her mind set on providing better opportunities for her children. She worked hard until she was able to send for me. This was a turbulent period because by that time, I had it in my mind that my real mother was my grandmother. I thought I was in the U.S. in the hands of an imposter. Slowly I began to re-acquaint myself with mommy.
Mommy proved to be mommy indeed by providing food, shelter, clothing, and strong religious orientation. It was because of mommy that I learned Psalm 1. This small fact may have planted the roots for this deep interest in the study of everything theological—or perhaps it was my father’s family deep roots in church ministry. The motivation behind learning what was contained in the Word was the desire to make mommy proud.
Mommy had such a presence that with a look all her children would fall into place. It is a look that still commands profound respect to this day. It is a look that has turned into a smirk when she reminds herself that her children are not as young as they use to be. She doesn’t view us as adults. This is made clear when in reference to us she repeatedly says “my kids.” And in a way, we are proud to be called that. The thought of being the offspring of a woman with such an august presence invoke feelings of majestic belongings. These grand imaginings do not eclipse the greatest thought of all, that of mommy being mommy.
It is this mommy with a head for numbers, and perhaps drawing upon the sayings of her own mommy, that says “money loves money.” This she utters as financial counsel concerning how knowing how to hold on to money can lead to having more money. Thus mommy has been able to manage herself through the turbulent economic waves that have been pounding the American homeland. It is foresight and smart plans that have been the backbone to mommy’s economic stability.
Mommy is a master chef in the kitchen. Although she admitted that she didn’t care too much for cooking as a youth, when the need came for her to do what was necessary, she did it with great success. None that have ever tasted her cooking wished for anything else. She revels in knowing that she is able to make something that is enjoyable by all. In my book, mommy’s cooking can’t be topped. It is a forced to be reckoned with.
Mommy wasn’t settled with coming to the U.S. and not having a degree under her belt. She attended university and used that medically tuned mind to conquer the nursing classes and the NCLEX one after the other. No hesitation. Her car became a second apartment as she studied during breaks. Although she was exhausted from the combine work and school load, she pressed on with tenacity to achieve her objective. They all view her as nurse Jackie, but I see her as mommy.
Mommy is a jokester. Put her in a room with a lively bunch and she will quickly rise to the top as the most boisterous. She is the only one in the family that is able to maintain the attention of everyone for a long period of time. At times she may seem quiet and composed but in a second the energy will seep through lively eyes, erupting into a grand smile. To this day mommy is the greatest exaggerator of stories that I know. There aren’t many that can take a small event and mutate it into a grand narrative of seemingly credible facts. The art of story-telling is a skill that mommy mastered.
That’s my mommy. She is imperfect, but she is saved by the blood. It is this type of mommy that gives counsel that “will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck” (Prov. 1:9 NKJV).