Feature Friday



As I listened to Kevin Durante’s MVP speech, I found myself, just like others caught up into the emotion of his gratitude for his mother.  It was beyond moving to see the love and pride his mom shared with him on that special day as he declared her the REAL MVP.  As I listened to him tell his truth about growing up poor, yet with love and admiration for his mother’s sacrifices, I began to reflect on my own mother.

This FEATURE FRIDAY is dedicated to my mother as an early HAPPY MOTHER’s DAY”.

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I want you all to understand that as a kid growing up and as a teenager and even some moments as an adult, I did not like my mother.  I even went through a dark period where I felt I hated her.  Now that I am married with kids of my own, I often reflect on my childhood and made a discovery.

image  For every bad moment I had growing up, I have at least a dozen good memories of experiences with my mother.  We were always broke, couldn’t keep a telephone most of my childhood, lights and water were constantly being disconnected, and we did not have the money to keep up with the latest trends.  However, I can remember my mom taking us to the park and the lakefront to play, to A & G Buffet to eat. I can remember when in the 6th grade, my mom took me to the World’s Fair in New Orleans where I tried frog legs for the first time.  I can remember her taking me to my speech contests at Xavier University.  I can remember the kites she use to buy for us and the paper airplanes.  I can remember the $15 bicycle she purchased for me at my school’s fair.  I can remember her coming to my school at my request for my birthday to bring cake, ice cream and chips.  I can remember the makeshift costumes because we didn’t have money to purchase the ones in the store.  I can remember how when our lights were off she would constantly buy batteries for this little portable television.  We had so many batteries until my sister and I created a game by turning an ottoman upside down and stacking the old batteries.  We had half the neighborhood kids waiting to take a turn to play this elaborate, made up game.  Why is this relevant?  We took what most kids would be too embarrassed for anyone to see and turned it I to a fun experience for others to enjoy.  I can remember her sitting in the audience so proud when I sang in talent shows in college.  I can remember her driving up with my then fiancé’ to Maryland from New Orleans to watch me get married.  I can remember my mom riding a Greyhound bus for 24 hours just to be there for the birth of my first child.  As you can see, I have many awesome memories throughout my life that far outweigh the bad.

My mom taught us how to make the best out of adversity.  Now she never told us to do that, but instead she demonstrated it by what she did for us.  Did I mention it was nine of us with a single mother, just to put things in perspective.  My siblings and I were too silly at times to know just how poor we were because we wer rich in so many other ways.  My sister and I often joke about how we have loving and dedicated husbands to help us and with fewer kids than mom, and we still struggle to stay sane.  How in the world did my mom manage taking care of us as a single parent?

We didn’t have a perfect mother growing up.  In fact, she made many mistakes that I am sure she would do over if she had the opportunity.  But one thing I do know is that she was the best mother she knew how to be.  She taught us love through hard work and perseverance by working two and three jobs at a time.  She taught us love by teaching my siblings and I to stick together.  She taught us love by making sacrifices no mother should have to make to keep her children strong, healthy and safe.

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All of this started with my mom.  So take a bow Mama, you deserve to be featured everyday for all you have done and sacrificed so that I could be who I am today…a strong, beautiful, educated wife , mother, daughter and woman of God–JUST LIKE MY MAMA!!!




Blessings and Inspiration,

Shannon Ayers Speaks