Mother’s Day 2010, Tameka Raymond penned a heart-felt letter for her sons in appreciation of them, on her day. (Via Global Grind) Recently, Tameka has unfortunately taken on the responsibility of not only birthing her children, but also burying her son, Kile. In the letter, Tameka openly reflected on the connection and influences her children bring to her in this life time. We never know what the future has to offer, and in parallel, take away. I try to see things half-full, and in this situation, I believe something, bigger than us, gave Tameka the moment to appreciate and to HAVE, something undeniable and incredible… love for her children.
Below is Tameka’s letter, please do read and count your blessings.
Thank you for each of my sons. I love them so much. I am absolutely enamored merely by their existence and I cannot imagine living my life without them. I realize that I was only at the tender age of 19 when I decided to have my first child. It was a sensibly tough, yet wise and necessary decision. Everyone told me I was not ready to be a mother, but I entered into this journey of Motherhood anyway. Armed with a brave heart, naiveté, an iron-will, and youth. I proceeded with the motherhood experience, it is what I have always likened or perceived a gang initiation to be. It was me being thrust blindly into a scary, multifaceted, fast paced, learning abyss. Nobody told me what to expect, nor could they prepare me for life as a new Mom. None of my girlfriends, younger sisters, or cousins were parents at the time.
Luckily God, I had you to lean on, because after my son Darrin’s birth, I slipped into nearly a week long bout of the ‘New Mommy Blues’ (aka postpartum depression). I walked around both dizzy and aimless for that entire first week because I was so exhausted from being startled and awakened by the abrupt, siren-like cries of my newborn blasting my eardrums. I was totally unprepared. I was scared but I could only share my fears with you, because I had to appear to be ready with my Mom and Grandmom watching. You knew I was weak, but through my weakness, I gained strength… Being a new mom for me meant patience, a lesson in self-reliance, unwavering loyalty and unconditional love.
My first born gave me one of the most important of life skills: resilience. During that cycle, he transformed me from being a teenaged girl to womanhood via motherhood. Today, at 19, Darrin is superbly mature, laid-back, low-key, peaceful, non-materialistic and completely himself. He gives me no teenage angst; he is introspective, he flows, he’s like a hippie born during the “Woodstock” era, in spirit. He is so unaffected by my lifestyle or anything remotely mundane or flamboyant. Lord, only you know how I would have been at 16, so immature and with a “famous” step-parent or parent, you would have thought I was born a Lauder or Hilton;-) I thank you for Darrin because he blesses me with his individuality, simplistic, humble, down to earth spirit, and meekness. Oh, and he’s never been in trouble, that in itself is a blessing these days.
Some nine years later, when I gave birth in 1999 to my second son Ryan, I was far better prepared. You blessed my son with gifts of honesty, good looks, and athleticism beyond my imagination. Not only is he talented, he is so fair and believes in only playing by the rules. Ryan, now 11, teaches me the benefits of discipline (hard work), the value of being a team player and following the ‘rules’. He is a blessing to me, because he is like a ‘little Grandpa’, keeping me in line; no texting or cell phone use while driving, and a constant reminder to obey speed limits. At times, I feel like I’m driving with Oprah or even a pastor He is a walking PSA – he pulls my coat tail and helps me keep focused on values, rules, morality and responsibility (punctuality) – always making me think, care about people and the world around us.
Then there is Kile… My artisan, he’s Andy Warhol meets Bill Gates coupled with Justin Bieber and infused with Emeril. Now Lord, you know you clearly pushed my threshold for pain to new heights with that little guy. I really thought I was secretly being filmed for the pilot for “Fear Factor.” That birthing process made me realize that I was stronger than I ever thought I could be. In honor of him, I got a tattoo that reads “To defy with courage..”, written in Arabic. I actually have five (5) stars tattooed to denote each of my sons. Now, at 9 years old, he is fast becoming a well read, computer ‘techie’, who says he wants to be “an artist and chef since he’s “already a singer”. My son blesses me with his ambitious energy and his tenacity teaches me that you can do anything and overcome any obstacle if you simply believe and work toward that goal.
Almost seven years passed and in 2007, You blessed me with yet another son, Usher V. At 2 ½ years old, He has already mastered the art of charm through puppy-dog eyes and laughter. Lord, that child is also so fearless that he even taught himself to swim by simply watching his older brothers dive in and frankly just not being afraid of obstacles. His affectionate way and ability to smile under any circumstance teaches me that there is still “good” in this world.
I am blessed by his innocence, fearlessness and loving spirit, amidst it all. His light and playful nature tells me “its not that serious Mom. Live, Love, Laugh.”
The most recent gift from You… Naviyd Ely, my youngest son, has a Persian name that means ‘God’s Gift.’ It also means “Good news”. Lord… This child of mine has been a 17 month-long blessing, Naviyd is one of the happiest babies I have ever met. Ironically, he’s very reminiscent of a Cherub, smiling ALL of the time, even if I’m down or feeling melancholy he can light up my day. Born after a discordant pregnancy, during a stormy, uncertain period in my life, he brought peace to an unsettled heart and mind. His existence was my assurance, a promise to me that the nonsensical actually makes sense. I am blessed each day to awaken to his eternal smile. Naviyd is beautiful & pure; he is my calm and my peace amidst the chaos in this world. His name exemplifies who and what he is to me.
It’s been a 17 month-long blessing, Naviyd is one of the happiest babies I have ever met. Ironically, he’s very reminiscent of a Cherub, smiling ALL of the time, even if I’m down or feeling melancholy he can light up my day. Born after a discordant pregnancy, during a stormy, uncertain period in my life, he brought peace to an unsettled heart and mind. His existence was my assurance, a promise to me that the nonsensical actually makes sense. I am blessed each day to awaken to his eternal smile. Naviyd is beautiful & pure; he is my calm and my peace amidst the chaos in this world. His name exemplifies who and what he is to me.
In life, we are sometimes hardened by the trials and pressures we have to deal with day in and out. But Lord, I would not trade a single sleepless night for anything in the world. I know that I have to teach them the direction in which they should go. However, through them You have taught ME Resilience (Darrin), I have learned discipline, fairness, and to be more of a humanitarian (Ryan). You have given me the courage and wherewithal to face, endure and overcome unimaginable pain (Kile). You have prepared me Lord. You knew that difficult days were on the horizon. Yes… You knew I would need to understand the true meaning of fearlessness (Usher V). Yet, at nearly the exact time, You gave me my calm and my peace so I could brave any storm (Naviyd). I thank You for being the All Knowing and I thank You for my blessings on this day- with children Mothers Day is everyday and not limited to one.
In Jesus’ name, I humbly thank you.