May 9, 2010

sweet sundays: My mother

I never have words for my mom. I can't. I don't know how to express the overwhelming feelings that swell through me and to the center of my being when I think of her, who she is in general, who she is to others, and all she means to me. If I could bundle it all up and throw it out, it would result in instant world peace, end to starvation, plus rainbows and hearts a-plenty. Basically, overwhelming love, respect, and admiration.

Devon House, Kingston, Jamaica mid-1980s
I'm not saying she's perfect. But she is perfect for me. We don't always agree but somehow we always settle on level plain. I think it is because she loves me so much. Not to be presumptuous but I imagine having a child at 24 years of age in the early 1980s in a fairly traditional culture couldn't have been easy. Not even if you happen to be an educated, strong, modern thinking, and highly opinionated woman (and boy, is she ever opinionated! haha). I like to imagine she determined that despite the unknowns, her little Shumpy would exist, be the apple of her eye, and she has always made me feel that way. Yup, even after the mango of her eye (her true fruit love) and the papaya of her eye (another fruit I know she loves) came into the picture - my sibs won't appreciate the description.

my 21st birthday. my mother, the consumate party planner.

My wedding day, Dec 2006. my mother, my rock & support.

I am 27 and am yet to be weaned off my mom. Of course physically we've been living in separate countries for 10 years, and I can totally physically manage day to day living without her - I have always enjoyed my own company, and manageable bursts of others. But that's because I have her love and support bolstering me...I am yet to become emotionally independent of my mom. I think of her everyday, and I remain content just knowing she is breathing and safe somewhere (though I'd like for it to be closer to me).

Let's take a break from all the soppy crap. My mother is a remarkable woman. She is an active and advancing worker. Never settling for mediocre and always demanding excellence from herself and her staff. She went on to achieve her masters degree after having a child (that would be me), and has since continuously advanced in her field. She continues to seek knowledge, participating in conferences and seminars internationally. Further, she is well rounded. She is an active participant in her church community, and gives back to society everyday. Not only by raising semi-normal children (no criminals, all sensible, and caring persons - quite a feat in todays day and age), but also by being a great wife, aunt, sister, daughter, and friend, and by giving of her time and efforts to the community. But don't count her out! She is no staid old woman. My mom not only looks young and is fit (still competes in foot races on the beach with her kids *smile*), but also has rhythm, plays a decent game of monopoly, an impressive game of scrabble, can cheer on her alma mater in sporting events with the gusto of a teenager, has the most refined taste in clothing and accessories, and still knows how to kick it back in the country with a pan of mangoes. She does it all with effortless elegance and style. From the boardrooms of Kingston, New York, Toronto, and London; to churches, rural and urban; to Ivy League institutions; to squeezing 7 into my little one bedroom before my wedding; to stylish hotels in Europe; to Disney World with her kids; to cutting it up on the dance floor of a family wedding; to good ole Sligoville. She is the epitome of an international super mom.

My mother is the best example of nurturing I know. Yes, I had to get back to the sentimental. She is so good at taking care of her children I cannot imagine the day we will need to take care of her. I wonder if I'll be as good at it as she was. I sure hope so. She deserves it. For all the support, understanding, and love she's given me. Allowing me to share good news, vent, laugh, yell, hug (aka squeeze the life outta can get violent), kiss (she and I have a kiss-bite on the cheek hybrid), and just be myself with her (even when she doesn't agree) has helped me become the woman I am today. As long as she lives I know I'll always have a champion in my corner.

& that's all I need.

I'll never be alone as long as I live because of who she is.
She has always held my hands in love & support, and always will...

I love my mommy.

--Happy Mother's Day to all the fantabulous moms out there--


  1. awww how beautiful Shar! I ditto that!!!! Your Mommy is amazing...and Mommy to so many of us, u know this full well!! :)

  2. Thanks! We had a lot of blessed we were! :)

  3. My eyes began to water this was sweet Shar....

  4. Oh Sharifa Zakiya,
    That is so very dumbfounding beautiful! It is so like you though! I felt a bit transported... so honoured.
    Shar you made it easy for me to be a Mom and the support I had from Daddy. I hope I loved you the way you should have been loved everyday because you truly deserve it.
    I am learning to be much much more patient, more understanding, less authoritarian and dictatorial, less opinionated (thanks to my mango and my papaya)
    I wish I had more time to better in many areas though but I am working on them
    XOXOXOXO times 1000000

  5. Thanks Vicky :)

    Love u mom *muah*

  6. Beautiful..just beautiful!