Sunday, May 13, 2018

"For My Mother..."

When I was a boy, the televison show, Good Times was a ground-breaking departure for the portrayal of families of color... Back then, we had very few role models of hard-working black families anywhere in the media. So when Good Times came along it was revered in our community and in our home.  My mother especially liked this program, and the marriage of Thelma Evans was an event celebrated and watched like a royal wedding at the time.

Every time I watch this clip of Thelma's wedding, I am reminded of my own mother's strength and quiet dignity.  She was a wonderfully strong woman and her legacy lives on in me and my siblings and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren to this day.

And yes, I had a strong black father much like James Evans... And although through my parents' hard work, our family was firmly ensconced in the middle-class, my brothers and sisters and I could all identify with the trials and tribulations of the children in the James Evans family, including James' spare the rod and spoil the child approach to family discipline. I'm sure that contemporary viewers are perhaps aghast at James' pulling off his belt to give young Michael a whipping, but in hindsight, having been on the receiving end of the real thing, I don't think it did me any harm and definitely taught me that choices had consequences.

On this Mother's Day, as in years past, I visited my parents' graves with my husband and I placed a dozen pink roses (less 1 for my father) at my mother's headstone.  I am thankful for a wonderful, loving mother, now long gone from my sight, but ever near and as large and strong an influence in my life as she ever was.

Happy Mother's Day!

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