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A Salute: Warrior Women

Warrior Women. Most people think of Wonder Woman when this subject comes up but I was birthed into this concept.

I was blessed to be raised in a family of warrior women. Strong independent intelligent beautiful resourceful. These are just a few of the words that I can use to describe my mother, grandmothers, aunts, and godmothers. These women who have shaped me into being the woman that I am. Hail, wind, storms, rain, sunshine never mattered to these women because they knew how to face life heading. They have been strong towers in our family for years. They took the lessons of their mothers and grandmothers and adopted them to the current time to raise their children to be as fierce as they are. My grandmothers, Maggielean and Ida Mae, have gone on to glory but not before instilling in their daughters the pride of being a mother and a black woman. Their dignity and class surpassed all others. It is here at their knee that I learned that taking care of your family was a gifting all in itself. Both of my grandmothers could spoil their husbands, children, grandchildren, and anyone else without blinking an eye. They knew what to give each one of us only wanting our success in return, teaching us wisdom along the way. Filling their homes with love, they taught not just their children but their grandchildren what a safe haven was. My mother, Valarie, and her sisters/sisters in law, Vel, Pat, Joyce, Tammy, Neat, Linda, Maryann, Dorice, Annette, took on the lessons of their mother/mother in law as did my fathers’ sisters/sisters in law (Dot, Sarah, Daisy, Barbara). From this next generation, I learned independence and strength. I learned how to stand tall and proud of whom I was and where I come from. The lessons that I learned has impacted my life so that each day I aspire to give my child love, strength, independence, and kindness as I sprinkle nuggets of wisdom along the way. From the two women I call godmothers (Saundra and Barbara), I got a keen understanding of being open to love from all sources. Their embracing of me over the years has imprinted my heart with a gladness that is irreplaceable. So this Mother’s Day, I salute the warrior women who raised me!!! My grandmothers’ love and wisdom was invaluable as they taught us to love ourselves as they were born during a time that didn’t recognize their value. They taught us to by example to hold our heads high and keep on moving on. My aunts’ sass, class, beauty, brains, strength, courage, directness, sense of community, gentle pushes to go beyond and independence. Lessons learned and taught in various ways. I learned I could be fierce married, single, or divorced. No matter my skin color, shape, income, social standing. I was made to be me!! My godmothers’ love, guidance, knowledge, courage, and direction of how to be in the fire without getting burned as inspired me all of my life. Without them, I don’t know if I would have made it through the teen years. Their gentle (and sometime not so gentle) hints of ways to be me are still guiding me today. Mommy - with beauty and style your intelligence knows no boundaries. I love you and thank you for everything (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual) that you have given me over the years. You are the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31. “Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring praise at the city gate.” (Prob. 31:31 NIV) Happy Mothers Day!!!

With love, Nakya

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