Every Friday, I share inspiration and wisdom from amazing women who have greatly influenced the world. However, there is not a single ‘prominent’ woman who has more positively and wholly impacted my life than my own mother and grandmothers (affectionately called Mema Mc & Mema Mojo).
Whether your relationship with your mother and grandmothers has been loving or lousy, I still wage that no other women have more profoundly and deeply affected the woman you have become. In celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday and both my grandmothers’ birthdays this past week, I want to encourage you to reflect on the valuable lessons bestowed by your own mother and grandmothers. You could even jot down a few examples on a card and send it to them for Mother’s Day, or at least tell them your appreciation over the phone.
Mema Mojo in 1958 (the year after my father was born)
Mema Mc with my mother as a toddler
My great-grandmother with Mema Mc as a toddler
My mother and me, shortly after I was born
Here are a few insightful morsels from the three women I hold most dear:
Wylma (Paternal Grandmother, aka Mema Mojo)…
Lesson from her example: Focus on the strengths of the people in your life. Be the encouraging supporter who delights in others’ successes instead of pointing out their flaws.
From Wylma, I received my love for staying up late to watch classic movies/musicals and my dedication to schoolwork and learning. She was either her high school’s salutatorian or valedictorian, and she still continues to challenge her astute mind every day. I hope that I will do the same someday.
Janell (Maternal Grandmother, aka Mema Mc)…
Lesson from her example: Draw from your own hardships to become the guardian for those who cannot defend themselves. Be the light for the powerless and the helpless.
From Janell, I gained my deeply ingrained moral compass and my ‘great things come in small packages’ confidence. At most, she is 4 feet 11 inches, but she has the strongest sense of self and most authentic ability to voice her beliefs of anyone I know.
Lesson from her example: Be present for people – for your family, friends, and even acquaintances. Be the woman people can depend on to show up and share in their triumphs and tragedies.
From my mother, I inherited too many traits to list in a few sentences. Best articulated by my Mema Mc this week on the phone, my mother is largely responsible for the individual successes of each member of my family. Holding everything together with her organizational expertise and encouraging the best in each of us, my mother is the selfless superwoman that I hope to be when I have children.
I love you all. Happy Mother’s Day!