By Leslie E. Royal
Officially recognized in 1914 and presently commemorated in more than 40 countries globally, Mother’s Day is one of the most notable, spirited, liveliest and highly anticipated holidays. The reasons are quite simple and self-evident. Mothers love unconditionally, give words of wisdom, are selfless, support the dreams of their children and others, listen intently, have an open heart, are committed to discipline tempered with care and are always just a telephone call away when needed.
One doesn’t have to have given birth to be considered a mother figure. In addition to biological mothers, mother figures include godmothers, stepmothers, spiritual mothers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, aunts, older sisters, older cousins and close friends.
In the African American community, the adage is “It takes a village to raise a child”. This Mother’s Day, The Ashro Blog celebrates the incredible women in the village who have nurtured and cherished young people – whether male or female – and helped them to grow into the remarkable adults they are today.
We asked five appreciative ladies to share fond memories and anecdotal stories about mother figures who have had a profound and lasting impact on their lives.
A Tribute to Natalie Fay Reese
“A Magnificent Mother”
With Love, LeTonya Denise Reese
We love our biological mothers. They gave birth to us. They nurtured and raised us to be the best that God created us to be. Quite often, we really don’t understand and appreciate the depth and breadth of what they have done for us until we have become adults and begin to raise children of our own.
However, LeTonya, 17, an intuitive person since she was a very small child, has always understood and recognized what a dedicated, devoted, loving mother she has.
[quote] My Mom is an awesome mother. She has always made tremendous sacrifices for my big brothers – Jesse and Tommy – and me. She is adamant about education and makes learning exciting. My mother has been there for me throughout all of my struggles and medical issues including surgeries. She has an entire binder that she takes to every appointment. She has always been a strong figure in my life. She is always there to help everyone. She cooks for the family, cares for my Grandma and babysits the children in the family when their parents have to work. Many family members and friends call on her for great advice. She often puts the needs of others before her own. It’s really hard to put into words how much I love, appreciate and care for my mother. She is an amazing person and I am really lucky to have her in my life.[/quote]
A Tribute to Mrs. Lamar “Moot” Green
“A Celebrated Centenarian”
With Love, Dr. Tan Goodjiones-Marilla
It is indeed a blessing to celebrate generations and generations of family members who live today as a result of one woman giving birth. Relatives joyously celebrate when their matriarch becomes a septuagenarian (70+), octogenarian (80+), nonagenarian (90+), and centenarian (100+). Tan has fond memories of the remarkable difference that her beloved grandmother made in the lives of she, her family and their community. This extraordinary, caring life well lived is certainly something to celebrate.
[quote]My late grandmother was the epitome of a role model for five generations until her passing in August 2018 at the age of 102! She reminds me of the story of how Jesus took five loaves of bread and fed 5,000. She did that and more. Not only for her family, but she fed the community that I was reared in for years! As I watched her throughout my life, she never ever had an excuse for not helping others. She raised nine of her own children, more than 42 grandchildren, 68 great grandchildren, 118 great, great grandchildren, other relatives and non-kins while maintaining a full-time job. In all of that, she taught us how to love one another, our community, and most of all, to have faith in God! She shared so many personal stories to help me through so many chapters of my life! There’s truly NOT ENOUGH PAPER or megabytes to write all the reasons she’s “MY MOTHER FIGURE THROUGH MY MOTHER HER DAUGHTER!” [/quote]
A Tribute to Brenda O’Neale
“A Marvelous Mother-In-Love”
With Love, Shalita O’Neale
When women get married, they gain a new family and enlarge their circle of relatives. It is really nice to have a good relationship with the mother of their husbands. The official name is mother-in-law. But in Shalita’s family, she has loving, affectionate names for Brenda which include mother-in-love, mommy-in-love and “Mommykins”. The wonderful mother-daughter relationship in which they support and encourage one another is an inspiration to us all.
[quote]I believe my mother-in-love, Brenda O’Neale, was sent to me from my Mother in heaven, Josephine. My biological mother was murdered when I was almost 3 years old. I went through my life with mother figures. But no one really came to close to how a biological mother would treat her child. That is, until I met “Mommykins” Brenda. We are so much alike that it is scary. She’s ambitious, outgoing, loving to everyone, and as sweet as she is, she also has a sassy side (far from a pushover). She has the ability to make everyone she comes into contact with feel loved and like they matter. She is an amazing mother and grandmother and consistently exposes my son to adventures that he will have fond memories of for life. She is a special woman. I don’t know what I would do without her. This woman is phenomenal. She is an Angel. I am so blessed to call her my Mommy-in-love.[/quote]
A Tribute to Mrs. Lizzie Mae Guess
“A Great Granny”
With Love, Ernestine McCullough
Grandmothers are an extra special gift from God. Whether she’s called Grandma, Granny, G-Ma, Big Mama, Nana, Meemaw, Gammy and so many other charming terms of endearment, she holds a really special place in the hearts of her grandchildren. Grandmothers are fun, understanding, thoughtful, giving and gracious. These characteristics and attributes are the reasons that Ernestine considers her grandmother to be a remarkable person and a great woman of substance.
[quote]One word comes to mind when I think of my grandmother. That word is “Phenomenal”! She’s a God-fearing woman first and foremost. She is a mother of five, a grandmother and a great grandmother. She is the matriarch of our family. I admire my grandmother because she taught her children to love God first and always keep the faith. Her children instilled these same concepts and values in their children. She always encouraged me to set goals and work hard to achieve them. When I was a little girl, she always took the time to talk to me and make me feel special. And to this day, she still does the same. She also expressed the importance of family. Family should always support and uplift one another. Her teachings helped us to be successful in our lives. I thank God for her daily.”[/quote]
A Tribute to Marcia Hart
“An Amazing Aunt”
With Love, Kahreen Williams
Why do aunts ROCK? There are so many cool reasons. They’re fun. They like to give great gifts that can be put to good use. They’re down with any ideas you have about visiting exciting places. Regardless of your age, you can go to them to discuss things that are important to you. They give sage advice without being critical and judgmental. They have hearts of gold. It’s no wonder Kahreen would choose to salute her dear Aunt Marcia through poetry and prose.
[quote]My aunt is a very family oriented, understanding, compassionate, philanthropic and adventurous individual. My aunt is my confidante. She shows me nothing but pure love from the heart. Being my listening ear and rock, Marcia helps me with my decision making, keeps me focused and always encourages me to stay positive and strive to do well. She makes me very proud to call her my aunt.[/quote]
A Mother’s Day Tribute to My Aunt Marcia
A Poem Penned EXCLUSIVELY for Ashro by Kahreen Williams
She is one of a kind and one in a million,
She has the biggest heart in which
she shares with so many of us.
Giving, helpful, loving, caring and kind,
is what defines her,
Her soul is made of pure love,
yet she’s worth more than gold.
There is no one that can compare to her,
no one that can even come close,
I appreciate all the advice she has given me,
I take it in with immense gratitude.
For all she has done, I will forever be thankful,
and my love for her only grows more with each day that passes,
On a high pedestal is where I hold her,
for I admire her more than she knows.
Having her a part of my life is the greatest gift of all,
being in her presence is God’s blessing to me,
Looking deep inside of her,
I see that strong, wise woman I hope to become.
Sometimes, I know the words to say,
To give thanks for all she’s done,
But then they fly up and away,
As quickly as they come.
Ashro joins these ladies in paying homage to their lovely mother figures. Moreover, we honor and wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to women all around the world. We are certain that your mother or mother figure will fit perfectly among this honored group of women. So much so, we encourage you to visit our Facebook page and Instagram page and share her picture(s) and your tribute. It will be our pleasure to share that she means the world to you with our global community.
Feel free to share this article on your Facebook page so that your friends and family can do the same.
As you celebrate and honor your special lady on Mother’s Day, have fun, spread love and enjoy. That’s the Ashro way!
10 Links to Great Things to Do and Unique Gifts to Buy for Mother’s Day 2019
Ashro contributor and ambassador Leslie E. Royal is an author, international freelance writer, product review expert, social media influencer and global travel journalist. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including: ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, FORTUNE.com, AAA Southern Traveler, Upscale, Upscale Living and Travel Bags with Annita.
She is the creator of the Leslie’s Lane consumer information blog and author of:
- Leslie Lane The Book!: Your One Stop Internet Resource Guide to Links for Jobs, Inspiration, Discounts, FREE Stuff, Scholarships, Travel & More ($9.99 Kindle, $14.95 Paperback)
- How to Write and Self-Publish Your Book for FREE with Amazon’s KDP: An Easy Way to Complete Your Manuscript in Seven Stress-Free Steps (Leslie’s Lane Inc.) ($9.95)