My mother, Mrs. Alvis Marie Jones Bond, doesn’t cry when she’s happy, or gush over things like I do. Trust me, I cry at mushy notes, sappy movies, sweet songs on the radio—whatever strikes me that day. And yes, when my mom says “that was nice,” or “I really enjoyed it”—whatever IT was, I know to take that and rejoice because it’s probably not going to get any mushier than that.
I never heard her brag on us like my dad did—give him five minutes and he could run down current status and accomplishments of eight younguns in a heartbeat—but I know she must’ve done her share because whenever I would visit her school before she retired as a teacher’s aide, I’d have to answer “No, I’m not the one who got a promotion at FEDEX, no I’m not the one who just moved to California, etc. “Yes, I’m the one” who did so and so.
She’d just smile as I’d try to explain which of my highly accomplished siblings I wasn’t. Somehow she has made all four of the sons-in-law believe they’re her favorites and they fight over who gets the most special treatment and which one she likes best. She just laughs and reminds them they’re all like her sons. The daughters-in-law adore her as well.
She is as smart as she is beautiful, witty and wise and every day she is more precious than the day before. I laugh often about how she didn’t work outside our home when we were little but when she did get a job, it was at our school. She was WAAAAAY too handy for teachers who didn’t mind doing serious discipline AND reporting that they had done it. She went to school when we went and came back when we came back—homemade biscuits were always a part of our hot breakfasts and there wasn’t a latchkey kid to be found.
She was at the top of her class in high school and was headed to college before she met and fell in love with our dad, her husband of 51 years. So many jobs and careers she would’ve been highly qualified for but she chose to put her family first. I will always be grateful for her sacrifice. Once she introduced me for an event and all the things she said about the amazing woman I’d become, how proud she was of me, all the things I would’ve wanted to hear—she said them. Of course I was a blubbering mess by the time she finished but she never broke a sweat. For me, making her proud ranked right on up there with winning an Oscar, the Pulitzer and the Nobel Prize for literature!
My beautiful mother-in-law was equally amazing. She’d proudly introduce me “This is my daughter – she’s a doctor!” Widowed at 33 with nine children, she stood strong and courageously and showed the world what pride, dignity and true grit looked like. She surely could have been the model for Maya Angelou’s now infamous “Phenomenal Woman.” Her legacy of love, empowerment and perseverance are the things legends are made of.
As Mother’s Day 2018 quickly approaches, think about all the moms (Big Mama, Madea, GG, Auntie, your best friend’s mom, the next door neighbor, your big sister, your dad–all of the MamaNems as comedian Jonathan Slocumb calls them) who have poured the best of themselves into you. Call or send some flowers, a note, gift card, something—to say thanks for investing in who you’ve become. If your mom is no longer alive, pay it forward and do a deed that would make her smile. Oh, be blessed and keep making her proud!
Please take a minute today and share a funny story about you and your mom.
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.