|For the Love of Margaret
5/10/2016 4:28:13 PM
By Hakim Abdul-Ali
In America, on the second Sunday of each Gregorian year, a national holiday called Mother's Day is observed and celebrated. It's a special day of observance, as it should well be, in recognition of all American women who are mothers.
It's a blessing from God Alone to be a mother, and usually, there are articles and columns written prior to or on that day's occasion by reflective writers, columnists and family related folks-in-general, filling their pieces with well-meaning accolades about those special souls called mothers. I applaud those folk and their comments and thoughts because mothers are indescribable in my book.
As a writer and an admirer of motherhood, I, too, had followed the same script for years, just like all the other sincere and genuine commentators who wrote about their mothers. It was important for me to say something about my mother on that second Sunday for everyone to see and hear what I felt, just like all of those other writers felt and did.
It was something I personally had to do. And, since I've been writing for this newspaper for so long, and when ever Mom's Day was approaching, I felt compelled to put another piece in print before deadline about what I felt about my mother who died during mid '80s.
But for some reason, this year was different and more revealing. I came to a revivified stance that my and all other mothers needed to be recognized, appreciated and remembered with love on every day of the year and not just on a single or some arbitrary day in a randomly selected calendar month.
So, I've decided to write my Mother’s Day piece for this year after the the second Sunday nationalistic observance because, in reality, it still is the occasion to celebrate my late mother's and all other mothers' importance to me and others with a humility that bears my soul to one and all. With a thoughtful heart, I hope that you can relate to why I'm writing it now as opposed to last week.
My mother's first name was Margaret and she was quite a lady. African-American, petite, smart, kind, very graceful and strong of faith in the Most High, Margaret was the apple of my eye in so many ways. She was my love.
My mother taught me so many things about life that I can't put them into words. Her easy going ways were and are hard to describe if you weren't blessed to have such a nurturing soul in your midst. Do you know where I'm coming from as you think about your own mother's serene qualities?
Margaret, a schoolteacher by vocational occupation, had a no-nonsense value system about forgiveness and being tolerant, even while living in a segregated world of virulent bigotry where skin color determined so many things. Racial prejudice, with all of its abhorrent distastefulness towards certain people of color, was something my mother never was afraid to address, attack and destroy from the America she lived in because she envisioned it ideally was pure death to a concept of being free.
With a spiritual mindset so profound, which still amazes me to this very day, my mother seemed to express love for everyone, no matter who they were. In her worldview, everyone was a child of God, and as such, she sincerely believed that love for all and hatred for none was the best philosophy to have.
I believe that in her heart of hearts, my mother, being from the old school of Southern discipline, and having been taught by the "queen"of all queens, my grandmother, knew the facts of life firsthand. My wise grandmother, the ever-patient Mamie J., educated my mom and others that life was about living in peace and not wasting your time with doing nothing. Being positive was her motivation. Margaret would tell me that she couldn't have asked for a better mother, teacher and nurturer to be brought up by. My grandmother was a rare "colored" jewel of spiritual "hue-manity" and equality before some ethnic folk ever knew or heard of the word or concept.
I really have to pinch myself sometimes to remember that I truly was in the presence of African descendant queens and princesses when I think of my mother, her dear devoted sister Eva and their mother, my grandmother. As a conscious brother, son, grandson and nephew of "hue-manity," I'm blessed to say "Happy Mother’s Day," on this day and every day of the year, to them and all the other mothers because you (all) gave birth to us all, and I lovingly respect you all for the roles that you play in all of our lives.
My mother was definitely old school to the core with pristine religious virtues that were the cement that held her and my father's worlds of trying existences together without crashing. She lived what she believed and knew as she understood her Christian faith tradition, because, as she often would say to me as a young man growing up, God is the epitome of love and He demands and wants the best for us all in human creation.
As you know, I'm a Muslim, and in many ways, I am that because of what my mother always taught me about learning "the truth" about all things. Strange as it may seem to some unenlightened folk, who may have different faith traditions than mine, my mother always planted in my conscious thinking waves to discover who God was and who He was not, and to never stop learning about that circumspection.
It took me a little while to embrace that challenge, but when I did, I oftentimes, thought of what Mom's previous instructions were. She would also say to me that "The Creator" was no one to play with and He never created our folks, or anyone else, to be anyone's fools, slaves or stepping stones.
That God-centered wisdom, direction and revolutionary manner of thinking apparently never left the inner realms of my spiritual soul's discipline and religious pursuits because I proudly proclaim and defiantly say to anyone that no one is worthy of worship except the Creator Alone. There's nothing to be worshipped except "The Creator Alone" of everyone and everything.
Again, my mother was the person who laid and implanted that foundation in me that, and in so many ways, I miss her, my grandmother and my aunt so much on Mother’s Day, which is every day. Please forgive me, I'm a little bit overwhelmed now just thinking of them and their impact in my life. It's real.
In conclusion, I love and miss them dearly, and to all the mothers of creation, I wish you all a belated, but still pertinent, "Happy Mother's Day." For today and always, that's, "As I See It."