Have You Seen Her? A Tribute to Black Mothers

More than twenty-five years ago, “The Chi-Lites” – an old 70’s R&B group – asked this question “Have you seen her?” Each time I listen to the song, I wonder who they’re referring to. Have I seen who? Being the mother of a teenage son, you know what I thought: “That man is looking for his Mama!” Because you know, just as I, kids cannot do anything without us – strong black mothers. We are the glue that holds families, communities, churches and everything else together. And we are so accustomed to juggling responsibilities that we can switch at the drop of a hat. Oh, you know what I’m talking about. For instance, remember the time you visited your child’s school and received a bad report on his behavior? You walked into the building a cool level-headed professional woman – just smiling and speaking to everybody. But as soon as you got the news of little Ray-Ray’s horse playing in line, talking in class and fighting on the school ground, you switched to a red-eyed, out of control, Prozac needing lunatic who blew up on Ray-Ray for acting a fool and his teacher for her inability to control her classroom. Now do you get the picture?

And with the growing number of households headed by single black women, our load isn’t getting any lighter. We do everything! Most of the time, alone. There are dozens of duties that we perform – teacher, preacher, gourmet chef, chauffeur, personal banker, referee between kids, doctor, law enforcement officer, counselor, attorney, and the list goes on and on. And we do it all without asking for a thin dime!

Yes, mother is an essential piece of the family puzzle. Without her, it is incomplete. Mother’s importance tends to slip our minds; well, until Mother’s Day rolls around. On this day, we reflect on how mama shaped and molded us into the successful people that we’ve become. Then it hits us, “We owe it all to Mama!”

So to answer my initial question – “Have you seen her?”- the answer is yes. Yes, I’ve seen her! And so have you. She’s in the kitchen, cooking a hot meal. She’s in the pulpit preaching the Word of God. She’s in the football stadium cheering her son’s team to victory. She’s even at the bedside of a sick loved one. Mother is everywhere!

Keep this in mind, not only on Mother’s Day, but everyday. Because if she wasn’t here, we’d probably find ourselves wondering around aimlessly, crying and singing the chorus from that old “Chi-Lites” song – “Why, oh why, did she have to leave and go awaaaaaaaaaay? I’d been used to having someone to lean on; and I’m lost!!!!! Baby I’m lost!!!!”

Mikki Zimmerman is a writer, Louisiana native and proud sports-crazed member of the "Who Dat Nation" - supporting the New Orleans Saints since the age of 8.  She is an animal lover, preferable cats and dogs, who is a dreamer with a HUGE imagination.  Currently she is a graduate student working towards an MBA with a concentration in Marketing.  Her first book - Can I Get a Witness? 21 Frustrations of Black Women (Including Me) is available online @ Xlibris.com, Amazon.com or by calling 888-795-4174. Email her at mikki.zimmerman@forharriet.com

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