I’ve had a chance to watch a show that I now consider to be one of my favorites, Black Ink Chicago. The cast of this show, both the men and women, are some good looking brothers and sisters, I mean natural beauty with no enhancements, which to me is refreshing to see on reality tv these days. Aside from looks, their substance mixed with a little ratchet keeps me tuned in!
Phor, one of the characters on the show, is a tattoo artist and rapper. On one episode, Phor meets with his client who is an aspiring athlete graduating from high school to further his football career in college. Inspired by his client’s determination, Phor started tattooing while giving his testimony.
Phor spoke candidly about how his mother pursued a “male-driven occupation” as a contractor, despite trials and tribulations. She worked tirelessly to make ends meet for her family.
Towards the end of his testimony, Phor continued to praise his mother for not giving up, contributing her efforts as the reason for his success today.
What Phor said touched me so much that I too began to think about my situation; my relationship with my children, specifically my oldest two because they are now seventeen and eighteen years old. I started to wonder if my children were proud of me. I wondered if my past failures and successes inspired or impaired them. I wanted to be assured that what we’ve been through as a family somehow strengthened them to be responsible contributing citizens to this place called life.
I went on to think further than myself. I thought if my children were able to take what they’ve learned and become contributing citizens in this world, then my mother can also rest in heaven easy having known that she too has a child who took what she has learned and is the best person she can be today. That child I speak of without question is me.
Go to the dictionary, look up “Grind” and you will see Emily J Parrott.
How did she grind you might ask? Easy! When she decided to raise two babies at the age of seventeen, when she stop depending on welfare, when she went back to school to gain her GED, when she pursued her career as a nurse, when she came in late after working twelve-hour shifts, when she worked twelve hours and, still had enough energy to make a hot meal for her family.
I credit my mother for having given me is knowing that I cannot grind out here on my own strength. I learned early on that to get through tough times I had to seek a higher source.
Now, whether you praise Jesus, God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah or Tupac, that’s your business but as far my mother, she was committed to staying connected to God.
I can count on my hands how many times my family and I walked into a building to worship, but what my mother did for me (I don’t think she consciously knew she was doing this) she help me to see God bigger than four walls and bigger than you and I. She didn’t set limits to how we understood God which gave my siblings and I room to embrace Him as we saw fit.
Grinding while staying connected continues to help me to this day, and as I pass the torch to my children, prayerfully they too will pass great lessons on to their kids for many generations to come.
With all that said, It is my desire that we as parents stop wondering if we could’ve done better for our kids and rest in knowing all things work for the greater good. As we watch our children grow, let’s take the time to notice the strengths they have inherited from our efforts, because we have now created responsible contributing citizens to this life. In our kids eyes as long as we’re trying, there can be no mistakes.
So let’s pat ourselves on the back and give ourselves a big bear hug for a job well done. Our children will fall… that is how they learn. Like our parents and us, they too will get back up, dust themselves off, and keep trying! If they have children, well, guess what? They too will see great efforts made on their behalf and make an impact in this world too. We have to keep the faith, grind and trust the process.
Wishing you all the best,
In loving Memory of My Mother Emily J Parrott