WHEN MY MOTHER danced at my wedding, it culminated a lifetime of teaching me that love is an action.
She took action and believed in a curious little boy who wanted to love and be loved. She acted on her belief that if she filled me with confidence, I would grow to be more than others expected.
She saw my love of learning and nurtured it, observed my love of words and channeled it, saw my creative bent and encouraged it. And while my father was always near, even after my parents’ separation, it was my mother who dried my tears when life delivered heartbreak. It was my mother who guided my brother and I through the storm of adolescence. It was my mother who struggled along with us to find a way through emptiness.
I am the man I am today because my mother loved, and prayed, and believed against all odds. I have achieved because my mother never gave up, and taught me to persevere. I have overcome because my mother was fighter. I have faith because she showed me the love of God.
We celebrated our victories together, endured our losses as one, and through it all, my mother displayed the grace and wisdom of a queen. She loved us with hot meals and clean clothes. She loved us with life lessons and family outings. She loved us with hard work and strict discipline. She loved us by showing us that God is real.
She cried her tears privately, bore her losses nobly, and portrayed strength ably, even when she was at the end of her rope. When I veered away from the path God laid out for me, my mother never gave up. She believed, against all odds, in the power of faith—and demonstrated her belief through prayer.
When the streets nearly swallowed me, she prayed. When I refused to stop destroying myself, she prayed. When my mistakes overwhelmed me, she prayed. When I came out the other side, she prayed.
I am the man I am today because my mother loved, and prayed, and believed against all odds. I have achieved because my mother never gave up, and taught me to persevere. I have overcome because my mother was a fighter. I have faith because she showed me the love of God. She made belief a tangible reality.
Today and every day, I am thankful for the many lessons she lived out before me, for the wise counsel she shared with me, and for the love she gave to me in ways too numerous to count.
I am still, in many ways, that curious little boy who wanted nothing more than to love and be loved. My mother and all the mothers in my life have allowed me to fulfill that wish.
Because my mother loved me I am a better husband. Because my mother loved me I am a better father. Because my mother loved me I am a better man.
That’s why I cherish the day my mother danced at my wedding. Without her, that beautiful day could not have happened.
Featured Photo: Solomon and his mother, Carolyn Jones, dance at Solomon’s wedding (Photo by Harvey Finkle)
Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com. Click here to learn more about Solomon