My mother’s heart and essence is made of vibranium, the strongest substance known to Wakanda and mankind. Her strength is literally the reason why I’m here. She didn’t just give birth to me and my siblings but has nurtured us into reflections of her spirit.
Anyone can have a baby. A dog in heat certainly can. To actually be a mother is an instinct and love in action. I’m fortunate to have been raised by a woman of strength and drew the universe’s draw by having aunts who also helped guide me along the way; a path fortified and begins in Haiti.
Les Cayes, Haiti is my mom’s birthplace.
Haiti is is a Caribbean country, the first of her name to revolt from slavery when they defeated France in 1804. The history is rich and not mired in filth as some would boldly declare in their ignorance. That is the soil that gave life to freedom and shaped my mother’s formative years. She went to school and became a licensed nurse. In 1982, with her heart still full of love for her flawed country, she came to America in search of the American dream and would eventually become a citizen of the United States.
The early years in the United States were hard on my mom. As an immigrant, she had to master a new language, culture and job prospects. It wasn’t a task made easy given that she was a woman of color–Black–an immigrant and not of a certain social class.
Nonetheless, she persisted rather than let these circumstances intimidate her. She struggled with paying the rent and providing for three kids as a single mother but every night, we had food on our table. We had beds to sleep in. There was a roof over our heads. There were no gestures of coming by with pizza or the random call to acknowledge our existence. My mother was there every single day loving us. Drying our tears. Putting up with our bullshit.
On top of all that and putting us through college, she was also sending money back home to her family. She never forgot about Haiti, how far she came and how her guidance was nurturing our sprint to carry the baton of our lineage forward.
In doing so, she has put so many others above her own happiness; sacrificing in ways that I will never know or appreciate until I become a mother. But let me tell you how good God is. It wasn’t just the melanin passed on through the bloodline that will have me looking 25 when I’m 60 but the vibranium interred in her bones. I’m gonna be alright.
To those who no longer physically have their mother’s, my heart is with you. My grandmother died in 2013 and to this day, I see how that loss is still felt by my mom and aunts. I hope and pray the comfort of cherished memories embrace you.