Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” Lin-Manuel Miranda
Hey guys! Welcome back to another blog post! May I be the first person to welcome you into the wondrous world that is Black History Month. The one month a year in the United States when we celebrate black men and women that have made a difference in our country and in their community. I am beyond excited to kick off my Black History Month series with a blog post that lies close to my heart! Today, I’ll be talking about the two most important women in my life that have shaped me into the black woman I am today! Enjoy!
To my Mother,
The first woman I must talk about is my very own mother. The strength of her story, how she has seen the worst of humans yet remains true and selfless beyond it all, and the character that is created when dealing with the worst things of life that have built her into the women I am lucky to call Mom. Of course, this story is by no means mine to tell but I will say being able to witness her as she is now is a blessing. Someone who has gone through so much only to understand the idea that life truly does go on. That there is not only light at the end of the long, often lonely tunnels but that on the other side there is life. Nothing you go through ever really knocks you down so low that eventually, you can’t get up. My mother taught me that in order to love anyone else I must love myself, and seeing her self-love journey and the insane parallels that our individual processes have taken us through sober me out of moments when I feel most alone. It might be cliché, but it’s a reminder that there will always be someone who is dealing with the same thing as you but in their own way.
She has taught me the importance of real, genuine friendships and how to build those worth lasting. She taught me how to be unapologetic against the forces that try to shut me down, and how to go about telling someone off with elegance. There will never be anyone who I will have had the pleasure of living with that better embodies class, respect for everyone no matter if they may hurt you, and the overwhelming feeling that takes over your soul when you learn how to have joy rather then happiness. I love my mother. There is no questioning that I’ve got her back regardless and come what may. Without her I wouldn’t be me. So much of my soul was metaphorically and quite literally birthed from her. There is no erasing the lessons that have been engraved in my bones forever. As a black woman, she walks through the world with the face of a person people will never truly understand but will love her as soon as she says, “Hello.” She has this way of making people feel at home like they’ve always known her and she steps in to fill holes you never knew were there. Whether those holes are family members that weren’t there for you or someone to encourage you to keep moving when motivation is needed the most. There is no concluding without saying that my mother very well might be the real Mother Nature, with her homemade concoctions that taste awful but cure like nobody’s business! She could heal the sick and still have love left in her overflowing, golden soul for anyone who needs it.
Oh, how lucky am I to be raised by such a woman! There are times where she’s the only one that really gets me and I wonder, “How did my stars align so flawlessly that I could’ve been blessed so fully?” She isn’t perfect, but she’s human and the world needs more people like her.
Love, Your Daughter
To my Grandmother,
The next woman who has molded me is my grandmother. It’s been years and now she lives through stories passed down from her daughters and the people touched by her life. A life cut short from those who cherished and adored her, but one that gave her just enough time to show others the significance of being yourself. My Nana, she has turned into more memory than reality nowadays, which is why sharing what she taught me is more therapy then I’m willing to admit. Although I was young through the bulk of her existence in my life, three words will always reign true when my mind wanders to this magnificent black woman: kindness, compassion, and selfless imperfection.
There was no sugar-coating when it came to her. She’d tell you if you were wrong when you were wrong and praise you if you’d done well. Simple and plain. What mirrors my Mother is that my Nana would always let people know exactly what type of person she was. So, when they summoned the courage to buck there was no denying who you were dealing with! I give credit to both women for teaching me not to take shit from anyone! My Mom often tells me about all the people that never went without a home, because my Nana would always leave the door open to anyone who needed somewhere to feel safe or use as an escape from their reality. Kindness will always stand as an understatement when describing her and how she showed someone how to be a good person, just by being herself every single day. I think she was an angel long before the end of her life well-lived. She was otherworldly and timeless at the same time.
I often wonder if she’d be proud of the woman I’ve become now. Would she see all the things I hope to be or would she think that I’ve already become that person? There are days when I can’t answer this question because it’s too complicated to sift through so many probable answers. But hopefully, she’s looking at me with a smile, and hopefully, she’s proud of what she sees.
To my Reader,
There is no me without these two women and the lessons that have been passed down and taught to me. They leave a legacy like so many influential black women left for history to discover down the line in years when their words are most essential. I think passing down what we’ve learned from them is the best thank you to what they never intended on being such key pieces of growth in the life of a young, black human. By sharing briefly about the most important women in my life, I hope you’ve caught the love letter I’ve tried my best to compose. Again, I’d like to thank you for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed every bit! Wanna chat about it? Please don’t be shy, comment below because I’d love to hear from you! See you next Friday!
The Freed Sparrow