On this Thanksgiving, November 24, 2016 I’m thankful for my mom, Lucinda Joyce Crawford Belin who is 75 today.
My mom is so much more than the impeccably dressed woman that I post pictures of, she is an incredibly formidable human being who taught us how to love all of humanity.
I realize, as much as I’ve fought it all my life – minus the ability to ALWAYS be perfectly dressed free of wrinkles and eyebrows in place – I’m getting to be just like my mom. Well sorta. kinda. in my own way.
Growing up in Tennessee, we were always around some sort racial tension. We were middle class black folk who were smart, well dressed, well bred and knew the Lord. My mom ensured we’d never be limited or slighted or feel in anyway intimidated. We were always taught we were created in God’s image and God made no junk. The thing was that she ALWAYS taught us that EVERYONE was created in God’s image and EVERYONE deserved our love and respect even when they weren’t loveable or respectable.
Like the time the little white girl in 5th grade said something about my #nappyhair on the play ground not thinking about how much I liked to chew gum and that in class she sat in front of me. By the time the Principal called my mom, I had already helped get the gum out (pulling and cutting as necessary) My mom apologized, gave me what she deemed an appropriate punishment, explained to my teacher that she needed to pay more attention to conversations that could be hurtful and that while broken bones heal – the sting of hurtful words have life long implications. I got another whipping when I went home and was taught what was appropriate (for the umpteenth time) and mine was to be a kid and hers was to take care of the adults. That week though Ms. Hattie did something extra special to my hair and I know my mom told her to to boost my morale. YES – We went to the hair salon every week then too.
My mom was the #PTA President forever and was often in the principal’s office not always because we were in trouble, but mainly so that EVERY kid got the resources they needed and EVERY family would feel connected.
My mom, with NO help from me, kept a perfectly appointed, always clean, full of everyone’s favorite food home. During the #Holidays our home was FULL OF FOLK. She was the best hostess. Every #Thanksgiving, the seniors who would be alone were welcome guests at the main table. (We had 5) The tables were set with ALL the china and silverware and crystal on top of starched linens with lace overlays, fresh flowers and candelabras. (We did NOT have plastic on our furniture)
This older lady would come every year and STACK her plate. By the time dinner was over, she’d take her foil out of her purse and rake food into it and store it away. By the time my dad took her home, my mom would have packed Tupperware full of a week’s worth of food. Momma reminded us in small ways how to take care of others without fanfare or recognition.
Over the years many adults, kids, friends, family, strangers would find safe haven in my mom’s confidence, her wise counsel, her purse and her love. If I’m honest, growing up I never appreciated her for who she really is.
To me, she was the one who insisted on me dressing like a perfect little girl, when I only wanted to wear jeans and gym shoes. She was the one who made me sit and listen to seniors when I wanted to read a book or watch TV. My mom was the one who busted me in my lip (pretty regularly) when I talked back or got smart or was rude to others. My mom was the one who walked me into school and defended me and my friends when we should have been suspended. She was the one who wouldn’t let me go to bed until the kitchen was clean, the dishes put away, the linens washed and folded and every guest had what they needed.
My mom was the one that was so pissed that I got pregnant before I got married and gave me the best wedding I could imagine. She was the one that wanted me to have lace and frills but let me wear a simple silk CREAM wedding gown.
She’s the one who bought every Christmas gift my kids wanted and bought one extra of everything for children without. She’s the one who after retirement started a business with my cousin and joined a board with some girlfriends and became the treasurer.
My mom taught me to be a friend by being one to hers, how to be a sister by the way she is with her siblings, how to to be a wife, by being married to my dad, how to be a mom by being one to us and even those not from her womb, how to be Christian by being Christ like and to love with reckless abandon by loving me even and especially when I wasn’t so loveable.
Happy 75th Birthday to my mom who has always been wonderful. Love you bunches