We were both still in our pajamas, barefoot in the kitchen whisking away. She would give me a stool to stand on so I could see over the counter and supervise all the goings-on. I remember trying to crack the eggs just right so there would be no mess to later be cleaned up by yours truly. I always had the pleasure of eating the last little bit from the bowl after most of the mixture made its way into the pan. As always, I was waiting patiently to do so. Without our knowing, Saturday mornings became the unplanned but somehow regularly scheduled time for my momma and me to bake.
I have never met a woman who loves chocolate more than my mother, but come to think of it, I’ve never met a woman like her in any other way either. She’s loving, gentle, kind, generous, ambitious, tough as nails, has faith that will move mountains, and she’s my mom. Her grandmamma told her momma to raise strong women and that is just what she did. She has very humble beginnings. The house she was born in was made up of less than 1000 square feet of hardwood floors, wooden paneled walls, no insulation and one tiny bathroom. She harvested tobacco from the age of 13 to make just enough money to buy a Coca-Cola and pack of Nabs at the corner store, and she was told that if she wanted to go to college, she was going to have to find a way to pay for it herself. And so she did by working days at McDonalds and nights at the hospital. She is the first of her family to have a college degree.
By the time my mom started to make a life with my dad, she knew she wanted nothing more than to be a mother. But, the doctors told her that it was very, very unlikely that she would ever conceive due to a disease that she had been living with for nearly ten years. Cystic Fibrosis had changed her life at 17 but she had never let it stop her. A few months later, she got the surprising news that she was expecting a baby girl.
To be the daughter of a woman who is so strong and so determined is an honor. There is a lot to live up to! She has taught me not only how to love but how to give, how to show grace, and to never, ever give up.
So on Saturday mornings, when it was just the two of us in the kitchen she was teaching me. Not only was she teaching me how to make a good ole southern chocolate cake, but she was teaching me how to live. I am forever grateful because of the woman she is and because of the woman she raised me to be. When I see a chocolate cake, I am reminded of her ability to be a woman like no other. So, I say, ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to all the hard-working, beautiful women who have sacrificed so much, you all deserve to be loved and cherished!