Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Mother: The First Leader I knew

Our Mother's Leadership made us the leaders we are today

Today is a special day for me. One of the closest, dearest persons I ever knew was born on this day in 1933 in Sumter, South Carolina. Her name was Ruby Andrews. She was funny, fun to be around, and always had a story to tell or a wise lesson to impart. Although she is no longer with me, her memories and the lessons she taught me still live with me still. She died in July of 1995. It was one of the saddest days of my life. But even on her death bed, he had spunk, funny stories to tell and some wisdom to impart.

First Lesson I learned from my Mother

One of the first and most memorable lessons I learned from my mother was to be able to independent and self sufficient. I remember I got into a fight with a boy up the street when I was growing up in Baltimore, Maryland. I was scared of the kid and was afraid to hit back. I got beat up pretty bad and ran home crying. Here I am, six years old, expecting a shoulder to cry on and some comforting words. What I got instead was a scolding! She took both of my hands, held them up and told me to “put’em up!” What, I thought!” I thought she was going to beat me up. She said, “You see these hands God gave you. Use them. You got hands like everyone else. The next time you don’t fight back and you come home crying, I’m going to whip your ASS!” I won’t say I never lost a fight or that I was scared to fight someone but I knew I rather fight back then lose two fights. The person I didn’t fight back and my mother. She had large hands for a woman.

Other Important Lessons I Learned

Besides learning how to fight, my mother also stressed the importance of education. My mom only completed the seventh grade. So she was adamant about me completing school and going to college. She always asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up. She was always supportive although I changed what I wanted to do every week. She always stressed hard work. Although I was one of the laziest children on the block, I always had chores to do. My mom put a stool in front of the sink so I could learn how to wash dishes and even learned how to make a grill cheese sandwich and few other things. Paid off when I was on my own in college.
Of all the memories I have of my mother, the long talks and the laughter stick out the most. She should have been a comedian. She noticed things most people didn’t notice and had a humorous and interesting way of seeing things. Anything was a source of laughter for her. Politics. History. Her childhood. And she had some friends that would make a humorous sitcom. I wished I had video taped or audio taped some of those memories.

The Last and most Important Lesson I Learned

The lesson that stuck with me most is when my frail mother who was suffering from lung cancer on her death bed told me this, “Don’t worry about me. I lived my life and did everything I wanted to do. You worry about your family.” Those words have inspired me to be a family man to this day. Hopefully, what I’ve done will inspire my two boys to be leaders of their families.

I would like your feedback and comments to my blog. What memorable moments or valuable lessons did you learn from your mom? Would like to hear what you have to say?

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