A Gift to Myself


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Yesterday, on the eve of my birthday, while working out on the treadmill, I noticed something profound outside of the window: an elderly lady on a walker was slowly, gingerly, carefully making her way down a steep sidewalk. At first I was worried that she might stumble and fall, and  I contemplated running out of the hotel and across the street to rescue her (I have a soft spot for senior citizens because they always remind me of my dearly departed grandparents). But I stayed where I was, and kept my eye on her and watched every small and calculated step she took until she made it down the hill and onto the level sidewalk where she was more sure-footed and started walking more quickly.

A gift to myself

The sweet little elderly lady taking a stroll.

She’d made it. And even though I didn’t know her, I was happy.

But why?

Because watching that lady as I approached my 42nd birthday reminded me of what life is all about: continuing to move forward, regardless of what may lie ahead–whether the road is slow and steady or risky and unknown. The goal is to keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other, no matter the terrain, until we reach steady ground.

That’s how I’m going to live my life–starting right now, in this 42nd year that God has blessed me to experience.

Birthdays are a great time for introspection. I view them as my personal new-year celebration, and a time to set resolutions and goals.  As I reflect on my life over the last year, I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in many areas. But I’m a work in progress, and I still have a long way to go. My journey, however, is a good one, and like that sweet little elderly lady, I may sometimes travel down (or up) a steep hill, but I’m determined to embrace everything that comes my way. Everything is an opportunity for growth, change, improvement and that’s how I look at my life now.  I’m constantly evaluating what I have done, what I can do better, and what I need to transform completely. Self-awareness has become a dear companion of mine because it’s the first step in living consciously. And living consciously is the first step in living the absolute best life.

Speaking of living the absolute best life, my husband and I recently attended the funeral of a dear friend’s mother. We’d never had the pleasure of meeting her, but those who spoke at the service painted the most beautiful picture.  Each person spoke about a life that had overflowed with countless acts of kindness, gestures of love, lighthearted fun, and, most importantly her very existence had penetrated the hearts and souls of the people around her. I’d never met her, but I was moved to tears. Listening to the tributes I felt as if I’d known our friend’s mom, and I loved her just because of the beautiful person she was and the way she’d affected and influenced others. I was sad for our friends and deeply touched that they had shared their lives with such an extraordinary woman.

To me, this is what life is all about: what we do with our existence, how we help and touch others; how folks will remember us, and how our lives will matter once we’re no longer on this earth.  At this stage in my life it’s hard to go to a funeral and not think about my own funeral (sorry to sound morbid on my birthday, but just follow me for a minute).  What will people say about me? How will I be remembered? How will my existence matter? How did I use the talents and blessings that God had bestowed upon me so graciously? And most of all, after I’m gone, what will God, my children and family think of me and the life I lived? These questions serve as a daily reminder to get up and keep going–just like the elderly lady– even when the road isn’t straight. KEEP GOING. GIVE LIFE YOUR ALL.

So today, on my 42nd birthday, I am gifting myself with a renewed mindset: I’m going to keep going and give life my all. I am going to continue my journey of focusing on my health and improving it in all aspects: physically (with my trainer and vegan diet); mentally (with meditation); and spiritually (with yoga). I’m going to continue helping others every single day, as I believe this is part of my purpose on earth. Day by day I’m going to continue finding ways to be the best mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, Godmother and friend. I am going to pour my all into my life while I am blessed to have it.

In the last year, I have lost a dear uncle; a very dear friend to breast cancer at age 45; and a childhood friend to breast cancer at 40.  Another friend was diagnosed with a debilitating disease at 43; two relatives of a close friend suffered a mild heart attack and a stroke respectively; and several college classmates and friends died in their early 40’s. So I’ve learned not to take life for granted because it isn’t promised.  Today I vow to God that every day I’ll do the absolute most with the wonderful life He’s blessed me with.  I’ll let go of the small things and minor annoyances and focus instead on the things that matter.

Today on my birthday, I’m well aware that life is the greatest blessing of all!  I’m filled with gratitude; I have no complaints.  I have a renewed sense of determination and resolve to keep walking up (or down) the hills of life with tenacity, vigor, zest, faith and love.

Cheers to life!



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Recently, my husband dug up a video from 2010.  Our youngest son was eight months old and in a walker, and you could hear me in the background repeating words, trying to get him to talk.

He was SOOOOO cute and little and bright-eyed and excited to blurt out each word on command: “da-da” and “bruh-bruh” (meaning brother).  Seeing this video again, I literally cried with joy when I watched it, so I watched it over and over in disbelief. My little boy is now four years old, and he’s reading, writing his name, talking up a storm, and loving Michael Jackson music!

Where did the time go?

How I wish for that baby again and that yummy baby smell! To kiss and snuggle him endlessly and to hold him in my arms!  When our kids were little, we rushed them along, pushing them to the next stage–and we were always sure the next stage had to be better than the one we were in! But when I looked at that video, here’s what I thought:

I want my baby back!

I don’t want him to grow up, go off to college and leave me.

Our older son is now approaching ten. DOUBLE DIGITS. Mercy! When he was younger, I would sometimes tell him that I wanted to give him “Baby Juice” a fantasy drink that would make him go back to being a baby. Whenever I’d mention “Baby Juice”, he would ask, “What color is Baby Juice? What does it taste like?” My imagination would ignite and I would indulge him with all kinds of descriptions, “It’s purple and yummy!” and so on. But as he got older he started to question, “Mom, I don’t think “Baby Juice” is real. I can’t go back to being a baby, can I?” Then one day he said, “Mom, there is no “Baby Juice.” I’m getting older. I won’t forget you, I promise.”

Womp! Womp!

Now, “Baby Juice” is just a funny story that we sometimes laugh about.  But whether I like it or not, our eldest son is growing up and maturing day by day.

Caleb_endofyear_partyLast week I went to his end-of-year party at school and when I pulled out my phone to take photos of him and his friends, he threw up his hand and said, “Please, Mom, not now.”


I wasn’t ready for that!  Until now he’s always loved it when I would come to his school; and when I’d walk in, he’d smile. But now he’s beginning to want his independence; his focus is on his friends, and I get that. But it still makes me sad. I’m beginning to feel that the waves of time are moving so swiftly that in no time at all years will blow by.

Time flies, and my little boy is growing up SO fast.

If you haven’t yet, you must read Rob Lowe’s amazing and perfectly titled article “Unprepared” about his oldest son’s departure for college that just appeared in Slate Magazine. I’m having difficulty imagining my kids growing up beyond the age they are now–let alone going off to college! So I literally cried buckets reading Lowe’s beautiful and moving article in which he explains the sadness and emotional roller coaster that every parent must experience to a certain degree when their kids are leaving for college.  And as I read, I could see myself reflected in his words–and that when it comes time to send my first son off to college I’ll feel the way Rob feels now; as if someone is ripping away a piece of my heart.

So if you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m a really emotional Mom!

I love to dote, snuggle, kiss, and call my kids tons of silly nicknames.  I take thousands of photos and videos. I save everything they’ve made; every single piece of paper, every piece of artwork they bring home I consider it a masterpiece because “my baby made this!” I don’t want to miss anything – milestones, events at school, games, recitals. You name it; I’m there.  I’ve even peeled back my career significantly so I can be home with my boys to shuttle them to activities and to be available when they want or need me. For now it works, and I never regret that I’m there when my oldest needs to talk to me about something that happened at school or when he has a pressing question (“Mom, what is puberty?” “Is “gay” a bad word?”).  And at the end of the day when I pick up my 4 year old from school and walk in his classroom and hear him squeal “MOOOOOOOM” followed by his little bear hugs, my heart immediately starts to sing and do a little dance.

Now, lest you think I’m just a total softie, I still reap significant joy from watching my kids grow, progress and meet milestones. I’m a big advocate of my children becoming independent as soon as possible. And because I am the mother of boys, I am well aware that my job is to prepare them to fly and soar so they’ll become strong, happy, dedicated and successful fathers like my husband and my dad.  I know I can’t over coddle or spoil my sons and impede their march to manhood. I don’t want to create Mama’s Boys; I want my sons to one day enjoy healthy relationships with their girlfriends, and then their wives. So I take great pride in pouring my all into them so that they can be their very best.  Being a parent is extremely gratifying especially when you can start to see the trees bear fruit.

So for now, I’m enjoying my “trees” being small, but growing sprouts that I’m still watering and loving and caring for daily–even when I’m frustrated, running low on patience and it feels as if my precious boys are tap dancing on my last good nerve!

But when I look at the big picture, the takeaway for me is this: slow down and savor every precious, yet fleeting moment of our lives.

As our sons grow up and college approaches, maybe I will find myself counting down the seconds to F-R-E-E-D-O-M (WOOO HOOO!) but for now, I’m super attached to these little rascals who on some days drive me crazy. I wouldn’t have it any other way…

But I confess that on some days, I just want to pour two big glasses of “Baby Juice”, wave the magic wand, and turn back time!

Then: Oldest son!

Calebthen1 Calebthen2








Here he is now! (Oldest)















Then: Youngest son!













Here he is now! (Youngest)



Dad and me on the beach

Dad and me on the beach

After launching this blog on Mother’s Day about my beloved mother, it’s only fitting that I do the same for my dear “ole” Dad on Father’s Day.

After my mother’s untimely death when I was eight, and my brother was ten, my father assumed the sole responsibility of raising us. With his faith in God as his rock and solid foundation, Dad set out to do the unimaginable: raise two young kids alone while grieving the sudden death of his forty-year-old wife.

my brother and I celebrating Dad on his birthday

My brother and I celebrating Dad on his birthday

Because of our tender ages, my brother and I didn’t fully understand everything that was happening.  But what we knew for sure was this: our dad was the most dedicated, committed, hard-working and ever-present father every single day of our lives. After our mom died, Dad made sure our lives were as steady as possible; we remained in our home, continued to attend our elementary school and our church–as my mother would have wanted. Instead of moving back to his birthplace in Florida where the majority of our family resided, Dad stayed put, choosing stability and consistency for us.

Prior to my mother’s death, my father had been a hard charging, ambitious, outgoing and exceptionally smart and talented stand-out administrator in the Detroit Public Schools (DPS). Dad was on the fast-track to one day lead the school system and in fact was being mentored by the DPS superintendent.

Then, my mother passed away suddenly, and everything changed.

Dad and I at debutante ball

Dad and I at debutante ball

Dad chose to dial back his ambitions in order to be more available to us. And boy was he available!  I mean every single day, every single occasion, every parent teacher conference, every game, every ceremony and every recital, literally everything. If it pertained to us, Dad was there. Back then, it cost 20 cents (whoa!) to use a pay phone, and he made sure we had change in our pockets at all times in case we ever needed to call him.

us at my high school graduation

Us at my high school graduation

My brother and I really missed our mom, but our dad was such a steady, strong, loving, caring and fully-engaged presence we didn’t even know we were vulnerable. But as I look back now I realize that as the waves of grief were rising all around us Dad re-created the foundation of our lives. He built a sturdy bridge for us and then carried us across to the other side.  At every opportunity he stretched himself, and made himself bigger in an attempt to cover whatever he thought we were missing.  And in that bigness, we found a stable, reliable and comfortable place of love that my brother and I both still rely on even until this day.

us at my brother's college graduation

Us at my brother’s college graduation

dad and I at my college graduation party

Dad and I at my college graduation party

My father has always given the best advice and guidance, but one particular situation stands out. I was working for a really tough boss who didn’t like me and made the experience almost unbearable. In tears and at my wit’s end, I called Dad one day during my lunch break.  I spewed a long soliloquy about what had transpired. He calmly asked me if I was near a window. Huh? I was perplexed, and said so.  He told me to go stand in front of a window. All I could think was: what does this have to do with what I just said?  But Dad insisted that I go stand in front of a window, so I did.  He told me to look out and tell him what I saw…A tree, cars, a street, people. I was getting a little impatient and said,  “What’s the point?” The point, he explained, was that I hadn’t mentioned any of the things immediately in front of me, such as the curtains, windowpane, screen. Nothing.  Instead I’d looked OUT of the window and focused on what was beyond it; I’d focused on the big picture. THE BIG PICTURE.  Dad was encouraging me to re-frame the situation I was facing and instead focus on the big picture: the great work experience I was having and how it would help me get to the next point in my life. He urged me to not obsess about my boss, how he was packaged, how unfairly he treated me, or how I felt about him. He was pushing me to adopt big picture thinking.


dad and I before the big stroll down the aisle on my wedding day

Dad and I before the big stroll down the aisle on my wedding day

Dad was right. I dried my tears, took a deep breath and went back to work (and life) with a new, and empowering outlook. I still draw on that advice to this day.

Reflecting on the excellent advice my dad gave me that day, I now realize that it must’ve been this outlook, an ability to focus on the big picture, that guided him as he raised us alone. I’m sure there were many many times that Dad had to look beyond what was in front of him; he had to project his view forward and upward, above the immensity of the task of raising us without his soulmate, my mother. But with God’s grace he did it.  And over the years no matter what’s happened, I’m constantly reminded to focus on God’s big picture for my life, knowing that when I do, I can never fail.

Dad, today on Father’s Day (and everyday!) I applaud, salute, adore, respect and appreciate you for every single thing you did for us to make us the people we are today. God blessed us with an exceptional and amazing father; you’re truly one of a kind.

Your love is the big picture that’s kept us moving forward all these years. Your love propelled us beyond our circumstances; and because of you we made it!  Thank you.

We love you.




It’s been said that the most important decision you can make in life is who you choose to marry. And that couldn’t be more accurate.  I made the best decision of my life by marrying my very best friend, Mike. I give thanks for Mike every day, but especially today, May 29th, his birthday. Today I celebrate the man I believe God created just for me.

Us as silly college kids!

Us as silly college kids!

We met twenty-three years ago at our beloved alma mater, Hampton University (“Shout out Hamptonians! Rock the blue & white!”). Mike and I were neighbors in the apartment complex where we both lived. On the day we met I was bummed; I’d lost the election for Sophomore Class President, but when our mutual friend introduced us, Mike greeted me with a hearty, “I voted for you!”

And every day since, we’ve been voting for each other.

Mike and I struck up a fast friendship that always felt as if it had more history than it actually did because of the ease with which we related to each other, and the loads of silly fun together we had along with our close knit group of friends. Because we shared the same major, Mike and I studied together–well, I studied because I had to and Mike, well, he regularly distracted our study groups with shenanigans until he passed out on the couch while the rest of us had to pull all-nighters to get a lower grade than he would get–every time! URGH! But best of all, Mike and I talked. About everything. How we grew up; about our families; our past and present relationships; our goals and what we wanted in life. We learned each other’s stories and cherished them in our hearts, and we became the caretakers of the other’s soul.

Our wedding!

Our wedding!

Fast forward to a few years after college graduation.  We had a mutual epiphany:  there was more in store for us than just friendship. On that day, we decided that we were going all the way together–no turning back, no risking our friendship for a romantic relationship, but using our friendship as the anchor and foundation for our relationship.

We’ve been married almost fifteen years and have two beautiful sons who are the center of our hearts and lives. Mike and I are truly blessed.

Birth of our oldest son.

Birth of our oldest son.

Today as I give thanks to God for Mike, I am especially grateful that we can share our most important role together: parents. Parenting is the hardest job in the world, but to have your best friend right there with you is a tremendous blessing and an enjoyable journey. Creating and raising our kids together is the apex atop all of the wonderful shared experiences, memories created, travels, professional pursuits, and living every day together. Knowing and understanding each other so well comes in handy when we have to make tough decisions for our kids: what values we want to impart; what schools we think are best: how best to discipline, and how we need to stay on the same page so the boys can’t divide us and conquer (good luck getting through our steel wall kiddos!). Because we have such a long history, Mike and I know each other’s core values so we have a lot to draw from every day.

Birth of our youngest son.

Birth of our youngest son.

And best of all, we can still laugh at the end of the day. God knows we can fill a book with all of our inside jokes! Having my best friend on hand to share everything, and deal with everything, especially our kids, is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving– and I don’t take it lightly.  May 29th, is Mike’s birthday but the gift is truly mine.

Our family.

Our family.


So please join me in a virtual toast to Mike: an exceptional human being; man; husband; father; son; brother; executive; colleague; philanthropist, and friend.  MY very best friend!




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Barbara Walters ended her storied broadcast career on The View.Recently, a fabulous eighty-four year old Barbara Walters ended her storied broadcast career on The View. And she went out with a bang! With Oprah leading the charge, Barbara’s career culminated with a parade of female journalists who’d followed in her footsteps, marching in single file, storming the stage. Seeing all of those women streaming in–everyone from Oprah to Connie Chung to Robin Roberts to Katie Couric – was powerful!

As Oprah announced each journalist, there were smiles, tears, hugs, love, admiration and most of all POWER. Woman Power. Seeing all of those women up there gave me goose bumps–and as always, because I’m truly becoming a softie, tears!

I was crying tears of joy, amazement and pride because of what can happen when women band together, help each other, share experiences and insights and empower each other.  Barbara Walters started her career 50+ years ago with a resentful, hostile male co-host who didn’t want to share the news desk with her; didn’t think a woman deserved to be seated next to him and NOW to see Barbara, an historic figure–a legend, complete with an impressive group of journalists surrounding her–all women who were inspired by her, was simply beautiful to watch. A real testimony.

Lupita Nyong’o (left) and Alfre Woodard at the Alfre Woodard and Remy Martin Annual Oscars Sistahs Soiree Invision for Remy Martin

Lupita Nyong’o (left) and Alfre Woodard at the Alfre Woodard and Remy Martin Annual Oscars Sistahs Soiree (Invision for Remy Martin)

Just as wonderful, actress Alfre Woodard hosts an annual gathering for African American actresses in Hollywood. It’s a safe and supportive place where they are free to express their fears, share success stories and celebrate victories. This year Oprah was there and you can bet that her sage insights and wise counsel were the cherry on top! What woman wouldn’t be enriched by such an experience? I think every woman would!

All this takes me back to my very first job and my female mentor. I had been selected for a scholarship/internship during my college years at a company and Ruby was my super smart, well-respected and admired, loving and kind, boss. Her name is fitting because she is truly a ruby (my birthstone, no coincidences in life!). Ruby is a gem. On my first day of the internship, she greeted me with a smile, my very first briefcase (remember those?!) and my very own pager (remember those?! I’m tipping my hand at my age!)  In my orientation meeting, Ruby told me that I wouldn’t just make copies, but I’d get to do real work as well!  I would go with her to real meetings, have my own work area, phone and responsibilities!

Ruby took me out and taught me how to conduct myself at a business lunch. She took me with her everywhere, and would debrief with me in the car afterwards.  Even though I was only seventeen, Ruby introduced me around and ensured that I would be respected and taken seriously.


I was so in awe of her. We became very close, and Ruby followed me all through my college and law school days and was right there crying at my wedding. I love Ruby. Some days I think what my life, especially my work life would have been without her? Ruby gave me the confidence, the boost, the support I didn’t even know that I needed then. Ruby gave me an example to follow. Because of her high rank and level of accomplishment, I knew what was possible for me in my own professional career. Ruby gave me everything; she didn’t have to, but look what happened because she did.

Now I mentor younger women, and it’s something I take great pride in because I know personally the positive impact it can have.  Unfortunately I’m also familiar with what can happen when the Ruby’s of the world aren’t around. Sadly, one of my worst professional experiences was at the hands of a high-ranking woman at another job. She made my time at that company miserable.  She wanted nothing to do with helping me, or any of the other women that worked there. She was one of two women at the highest level at this firm and she never extended a kind word or gesture or helping hand to any of the women there. In fact, she would cut off your hand if you reached out to her.

It was awful.

I vowed to never do that to another woman. Professionally or personally, I’ve learned that there’s nothing women can’t do when we band together and help each other.  We’re powerful. We’re smart. We have the very best ideas. We’re compassionate. We’re insightful.  We’re wise.  We’re resourceful. We’re strong. We’re resilient. And we need to continue instilling all of these values into our girls and young women, paving the way for them in every single area – from the board room to the playground and everywhere in between. Because “The View” that transpires when we do is simply beautiful!




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Youngest son in his school show performing Annie's Hard Knock Life

Youngest son in his school show performing Annie’s Hard Knock Life

Recital season is my favorite time of the year! This weekend, both of my boys performed on stage––the youngest in his school’s annual show, and the oldest in a drum recital and a citywide poetry festival.

I live for such moments!  Not just for the cuteness factor, the pictures, the videos etc., but recitals represent a crowning moment. The glorious culmination of  the Herculean effort exerted every single day starting at 6:30 am when I awake naturally without fail to get my boys fed, dressed, motivated, washed, brushed, moisturized, loved, hugged and off to school for another day.

The never-ending energy–the patience, the organizing, the monitoring and overseeing that I engage in day in and day out is mind blowing, but always gratifying. Staying on top of my sons to be nice, kind, well-mannered gentlemen; respectful to their teachers; friendly to their peers; to put their very best foot forward everyday; to strive academically and unleash their potential is a constant effort. Encouraging (some days forcing!) them to follow the house rules; to be humble and grateful; to complete their chores without reminders (WHEW! Can’t wait for this to happen!); and have my boys adhere to the values my husband and I are laying as their foundation.

On and on!

It seems endless.

Oldest son performing Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" with his all kid band, The Unshushables

Oldest son performing Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” with his all kid band, The Unshushables

Raising kids is the toughest job in the world. We parents don’t always know what to do. [Correction: A great deal of the time we don’t!]  But we do our best! We learn on the job, we figure it out, we make mistakes, we drop the ball, we stink it up, we forget things, we miss deadlines, we teach a bad habit, we show our worst selves in front of them, we don’t always walk the walk. We are human; but we constantly strive to be better, and do better so our children can be the best versions of themselves. As parents we push our kids on to their own personal greatness–just as we are in the midst of our own crazy and imperfect lives, desperately trying to figure it all out.

Most of the time we parents are stretched!  I’m exhausting myself just writing about it! Phew!

But in recital season, when the curtains go back, and those little faces are up on stage and it’s SHOWTIME, we moms and dads are finally redeemed! All  the hard work: the prayers; the worries; the tears; the fears; the frustrations; the hopes; the doubts and the angst are worth it!

At SHOWTIME, all the “practice” has paid off– not just for our kids performing in their recitals, but for us—for every mom and dad, and everything we did to get them to that point.  During recital season we realize we’ve done something right! Our kids have reached a milestone that reveals their potential to themselves, and we parents can celebrate our huge part in that. Our babies, who we love more than life itself, are up on the stage of life, growing before our eyes, becoming the people they are destined to be. And we are in tears, clapping like crazy, recording every bit of it on our devices but most of all, recording it in our hearts. Our children are on the stage called life and we are the producers, directors, cast, audience, promoters and their most loyal and exuberant fans.

At SHOWTIME, when it all comes together, I’ve come to realize that we should stand for a bow, too. So all you parents, guardians, grandparents and caretakers, take a bow!

Standing O!


We did it!!!!!

A Mother’s Day Gift



Today is my thirty-fourth Mother’s Day without my mom. She was forty when she passed away; I was eight.

When you lose your mom at such a young age, you spend the rest of your life wondering. What would she be like now? What would she look like? How would she talk? Act? What kind of advice would she give? How would we get along? How would we share special moments like my wedding day and the births of my sons?

For most of those thirty-four years, I dreaded Mother’s Day and as it approached I experienced a dark cloud of sadness and a looming loneliness. Gratefully, though since the birth of my first child, Mother’s Day has become a happier time for me because I have been blessed enough to experience God’s greatest gift: being a Mom myself. Yet and still, for many years the ever-present unanswered questions remained.

Some of my questions were answered last year when my very dear and special friend Barbra bravely faced her mortality in the form of a terminal breast cancer diagnosis. In our countless heart to heart conversations about her battle, and the inevitable, the central theme was always her precious eleven year old daughter. Barbra was as strong as steel in every aspect of her cancer battle, but when it came to her daughter, that’s where all of her worry, angst, sadness and pain lay. Over and over Barbra expressed her deep desire for her daughter to be ok…and not just ok, but she wanted her daughter to thrive and be happy. To be strong and self-sufficient; she wanted her daughter to know how to do her own hair; make herself a meal and have a professional makeup lesson for her sixteenth birthday!

Listening to Barbra was heart-wrenching, but the more I listened to Barbra, the more I realized that the way Barbra felt must have been EXACTLY the way my own mom had felt. Barbra’s concerns were my mother’s concerns.

As Barbra talked, I heard my mother telling me that she would’ve have given anything to still be here with me, my dad and my brother, but since she couldn’t, she just wanted us all to be ok. She wanted me to be happy and to live a great life and do my very best.

Barbra didn’t realize it, but she was giving me a parting gift, and I soon realized that I was able to help her by sharing my insight about growing up as a girl without a mom. We were able bless each other.

Barbra’s insights have given me new peace for Mother’s Day. And in talking to her daughter leading up to her first Mother’s Day without her mom, I assured her that Barb is in heaven smiling down on her, and is soooo proud of her and the beautiful young lady she is becoming. I have been able to tell Barb’s daughter that her mother still loves her more than anything else in the world, and always will.

And each time I encourage and comfort Barbra’s daughter, I am reminded of my mother who still wants the very best for me. This is what mothers do. We make everything ok. We pour every fiber of our being into our children, their welfare, happiness and productivity. We lay the foundation, instill the values, make a path and then encourage our kids down it, root them on, catch them when they fall, apply a band-aid and a kiss and then push them back out there. We dole out invaluable insight, advice and guidance as well as lectures, scoldings and finger-wags. We love unconditionally. And a mother’s love is boundless, timeless and endless. My mother’s love continues. Barb’s love for her daughter continues. All mothers in heaven continue to love. Our moms are always with us; they are very much alive in the deepest parts of our hearts.

So today, if you’re blessed to be a mom, cheers to you! You are the core from which your seed(s) are blossoming beautifully. Happy Mother’s Day to each of you, and lots of love and gratitude to my dear mom and my dear Barbra.


Barb & I having a blast together at the BET Awards in LA last June

Barb & I having a blast together at the BET Awards in LA last June

My mom and I circa 1976

My mom and I circa 1976

My mom, my brother and I heading to church circa 1974

My mom, my brother & I heading to church circa 1974