A tribute to my greatest female influencers
Happy Self Care Sunday!
It's so funny to me! I will have all of these grand plans for posts, actually write them out, and forget to post them. Just like this one which was supposed to be my day 2 post of Women’s History Month but is now my day 5 post! 🤣🤣🤣 Nevertheless I am here and working to refine this space.
Also, ⚠️ trigger warning ⚠️ as this post will mention suicide!
Anywho, today I want honor all of the women who have played a significant role in shaping who I am. Women like my grandmother, Epsie Broadwater Roberts who would've been 100 years old March 3 had she lived to see it. My grandmother Epsie who taught me through her own life that there will be things that only you can understand and therefore only you can control and/or change. I often wish for just one more day with her so I can ask the questions that were left unanswered. She was the personification of the force that beauty and resilience create. I remember so many conversations with her as she battled with her mental health and suicidal ideation. I remember asking her why she wanted to die so bad and her telling me that being alive simply hurt too much. I didn't understand as a child but I held her words close to me. I've carried them with me my whole life and as I have encountered adversity and trials I continue hear her voice. For me living is much more exciting than death so I work hard to enjoy the life that I am living even the hardest parts. I know that my love for my grandma is largely responsible for commitment to my own mental health and wellness and to the advocacy of mental health and wellness for others.
Then there's my mother, Genevia, who showed me the hard work and sacrifices that motherhood requires. She is a living example of “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me!” Her physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional strength are more than commendable. She has overcome more than most could ever comprehend. Lots of times I have listened to her share her story and at times felt sorry for her not being able to experience the luxury of a “soft life.” She has worked tirelessly her entire life to ensure that others were cared for. The more I hear others speak about her the more I have come to realize that she was placed on this planet to care for others. I pray that in this latter season of her life, all of the love and care she has given so freely will be returned to her 100 fold. She deserves this and so much more. While we continue to curate a mother/daughter dynamic that works for us, I am grateful to be able to do things for her and shower her with love just because. She has been the perfect example of resilience for me even though I didn't appreciate it growing up. I would learn as an adult, or more importantly as a mom that everything she showed me was useful and necessary for my survival.
Then there’s my big sister Karla! She taught me that no matter what others may think about what I love or what I want to do with my life if it makes me happy and doesn’t cause harm to anyone else then I should just do it. She has empowered me to be everything that I ever wanted to be and to pursue my dreams. She is the one who continues to give me the gentle push to keep going even when life gets hard. Even in the midst of her own struggles she has been present for me. She holds space for me in a way that only a sister can. I am so grateful that our bond continues to grow stronger each day. Growing up I never felt like I had friends, oh but I had a big sister that didn't play about me. She protected me from so much, including myself at times. She wasn't harsh or aggressive, she's never been loud or pushy. She has always listened, assessed, and provided me with rational thought and guidance. I love her so much. My prayer for her is that I and others are able to pour into her what she pours into us. She is my mother’s daughter so her giving cup appears endless but I know better so I will work to be intentional about filling her cup. I do not play about my sister and she doesn't play about me!
Then there are women like my high school chorus and show choir teacher Marquis Ezell who challenged me to show up authentically and to remember that there will be people who are more talented than I am but I have the ability to leave my imprint on whoever I come into contact with. I give her credit for helping realize that I am more than a face and a voice, I am a force! While I have pictures of Mrs. Ezell, I respect that she prefers not to have her image shared freely. So just imagine a harp playing whenever she enters the room becaher presence is synonymous with peace and harmony.
My professional mentor, Dr. Sebrina Palmer literally modeled the way an educational leader should be in order to make sustainable progress. She continues to motivate me through her dedication to the field of education. If "write the vision, make it plain" was a person it would be Dr. Palmer! She continues to pour into me and so many others.
As I work to employ all of the things I’ve learned from each of these amazing women, I pray that my impact on other women is just as profound. I encourage you to pour into someone else but also allow yourself to receive it. I also have to acknowledge that each of these dynamic women, excluding my granny who was a teacher in her own right, are educators or former educators. It just goes to show the impact of teachers on children. So much of who you are is shaped as a result of your encounters with school. I am blessed to have encountered game changers along my journey.
#empoweringwomen, #empoweredwoman, #dopeBlackwoman, #dopeBlackeducators, #dopeBlackteachers, #DopeBlackMoms, #educators, #overcomers, #inspiration, #motivation, #mentalhealthandwellness #mentalhealthadvocate