Mothers By: Eric Blair
I have two mothers. Well… I had two mothers for the first twenty-four years of my life. Their names are Mary Ann and Brenda Blair. Mary Ann was also known as Nookie. She was my kind, loving, and amazing grandmother that passed away two years ago. I am not here to dwell on death and the afterlife; we’re all here today to celebrate a great woman’s life. Brenda, also known as Neicy, is my hard ass but strong and beautiful mother. These women made me into the man I am today. It wasn’t always easy being a single mom raising three children with help from my grandmother but we all turned out decently. I can’t return the favor right now for all the hard work you two ladies put in to raise us, but I can thank you and show the world why you guys are such wonderful mothers.
Mary Ann Blair, what can I say about this little lady? I think I may have gotten my passion of storytelling from her. From a young age I can remember when she’d always had a story to tell. Anything that we’d done as children, she had a story for it. As I am writing this I begin to reminiscence of the time I would comb my grandmother’s hair (Yeah, I said I use to comb my grandmother’s hair as a child. I dare you to laugh at me. Ha!). My grandmother told me stories of her growing up. She’d listen to me talk and talk and she would hear and response to everything I say. My grand mother was such a kind and loving woman. When my mother was dealing with her demons my grandmother was there for all of us. She could have moved to Florida, like all old people do, but she didn’t. She stayed here to help us through these dark times. Mary Ann Blair was and still is a great influence in my life. She was always behind me cheering me on with every endeavor I choose to focus. She was one of the many hands that held me up during my independence as a young adult and into fatherhood. When I wanted to give up being a writer she told me to stick in there, do not give up on something you love. When I told her I wanted to write comic books my grandmother was one of the few people that didn’t laugh. When I failed at relationships, education, life lesson, and battles with Erin’s mom she helped me to see a better tomorrow. She always taught me to be me, never anyone else. As a child I asked her if she wanted to be rich, she said to me, “I never want to be rich, I just want to be comfortable.” This came from a woman who cleaned office buildings for years. I vowed to myself that I will become something amazing; not for people, not for myself, but for her. So, if you’re looking down from heaven; thank you Mary Ann Blair for never giving up on me. Someday I hope to be half as amazing as you were. I will always love you and celebrate your life and not dwell on your passing.
Brenda Elizabeth Blair had me at fifteen years old. I can imagine how hard it is to raise three children at nineteen in North Philadelphia. She had to deal with a deadbeat man who was still a child himself. People hear me talking about my grandmother a lot but honestly my mother always have been my inspiration to success. She has always been hard on me at times but only to make me a better person. She has worked for everything she wanted with no days off and without complaint. She overcame her demons and on-and-off again love affairs with my father. I know it takes a lot as a human to conquer your demons. There was much I didn’t understand in my life at that time. I just knew I wanted my mother back. I don’t know if I was angry with her at that time; I just knew my mother deserved better. She eventually overcame her demon and antic with my father to become a great mother and powerful woman. She has been the voice of reasoning in my life encouraging me to stride for greatness. Sometimes she is the voice of fear in the back of my mind for those “what if I don’t make it” moments. I know she tells me these things to prepare me for the real world and not to hurt my confidence. Here is a fact: My mother was the person that sparked my love for comic books by telling me about the X-Men cartoon from the 90’s. I first watched X-Men at 8 years old and I’ve been writing ever since. I am very thankful she has always encouraged me to explore everything that the world has to offer. She tells me all the time that she wants me to be a better person than she was or to have a better life than hers. I wish she knew how I desire her ability to be strong all the time. She is the definition of courageous. She conquered the odds and is still working hard to build a better future for my brother Dameon and her grand children. I am proud to have you as my mother. I am happy I am able to speak my mind with you at all times. I want you to hear the following: “I know you want me to get every degree on the face of the Earth, but writing and story telling is what I love to do. I will do something better than get every degree there is to get; I will become one of the greatest African-American writers and then give you the world. Just to hear you say you’re proud of me is all I want from you, mother. You gave me life, love, food, shelter, and knowledge. I just want to give you a wonderful life in return. Work and stress free, I will give you the sun and the moon one day. I just need you to believe in me like I always believed in you. I love you, Neicy!”
This is the final paragraph. Having great mothers made me to realize the beauty in a good woman. It also taught me how to be a gentleman towards women. My mothers raised me to be a man; I know it’s hard to raise boys to be men but I feel like they’ve done a very good job. I wish I could repay them each day for their unconditional love. I am far from a mother’s boy; I just love my mothers as all men should. I love all the mothers in my life and in the world. To be a mother is a beautiful thing. I love my sister, female friends, my surrogate mothers, and future mothers for being good mothers. Most of all I love you guys, no more than the other; I love you, Neciy and Nookie equally because you two will always be my mothers.