EMAYE
 
My maternal grandmother(left) and mom.

My maternal grandmother(left) and mom.

 

I’ve been fortunate in my life to have so many incredible role models; who have encouraged, coached and challenged me to be the best version of myself. My mom, especially, is my biggest role model and inspiration.

 My mom is a trailblazer.
 
She was the first person in her family to go to school. “I used to hide under the bed to convince my parents to buy me a new book for the semester because they would argue that they had just bought one the past semester.” There is still much determination in my mother’s eyes as she retells this story from her childhood about how receiving an education was not a privilege that many women had at the time. My grandparents were illiterate and underprivileged. Hence, she did not have the necessary support to attend school.  Despite the challenges, my mother strove to achieve success through education.
 
I grew up watching her pave a way for women in male-dominated areas, whether it was in the work place or the community. She used to work a full day, attend community meetings, make dinner, (if you've had my moms cooking you know her hands are magic. Literally!), and stay up late nights to ensure my homework was done. Although a single day is not enough to honor and celebrate this incredible woman, I would like to take today to say thank you.

 
Thank you Emaye,

 
For being my root and my foundation,
For teaching me the importance of home and history,
For preparing me for the uphill journey of womanhood,
For showing me how to be comfortable in my melanin,
For being my biggest advocate and support system,
For being the epitome of wisdom and patience,
For the resilience you show in times of adversity, 
For your unparalleled and unconditional love,
For encouraging me to conquer the world,
For turning your pain into purpose,
For walking through trials in faith,
For understanding the unsaid,
For keeping me in your prayers,
For your guidance in my career,
For your endless sacrifices,
For your uplifting spirit,
For being my best friend.
 
I love you.