At Real Women Atlanta Magazine we receive all types of emails for article submissions. There are so many incredible Black women with stories of how they turned what was a tragic moment in their lives into something that now can be celebrated. I am so amazed at the strength of Black women and how we are able to “STILL RISE” after being beaten, stepped on, refused a seat at the table or a seat on the bus.
We see in our history, Black women like Harriet Tubman who found courage to have a different vision and dream and acted on it to free herself. I can only imagine her thoughts of all of the possibilities; not only the possibilities of the things she would enjoy being a free woman, but the reality was that there were the possibilities of being caught and enslaved again. But as we know, her desire for change was greater than her fears. Not only did she become free, but she also made it a mission to free others.
There are so many Black women in our history that have been the first to challenge and change the system as it was known. Women like Shirley Chisolm who was not only the first Black women in Congress, but she dared to dream of being the President of the United States and she became the first Black woman to receive the nomination of a major political party. These are both women that we know, but some of you have stories, too, that need to be told to the world.
Allow me to share a story with you that we received. I am telling you this story because the writer has asked to remain anonymous. So for the sake of writing this article, I will refer to her as “Mary”.
This is a story of a single mother of 3 children. She was a good mother who loved and cared for her children. She was determine to be the best mom she could be because she didn’t experience that going up. Unfortunately, Mary had a mom who was on crack cocaine. She was often left alone as a child, while her mom was out getting high. Sometimes, young Mary had to witness her mom doing drug in the home along with others. She saw men come in and out of the house as her mom was selling her body for money and drugs. Mary went through this from the ages of 5 to 9 when someone filed a report and she was placed in foster care. Finally, after a year of being in foster care, her maternal grandmother was able to get custody of her.
Her mother later died from a drug overdose when Mary was at the age of 12. She loved her mom because simply put, she was her mom. Children have an incredible way of looking past the flaws of their parents and with their innocence, they are able to still find love. Mary always desired to have what other kids had in a mom. But as a child, she vowed that she would never be that kind of mother when she grew up.
This story may be familiar to some of you. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol has helped to write the life stories of many people. Like many of you, Mary made a decision that she would not allow what she experienced growing up to impact her life.
Mary went on to have three beautiful children. She had gone to college and receive a degree in education and was now working on getting her master’s degree. She wanted to get better jobs than the ones she was working and provide better opportunities for her children. Mary was working one full time job and a part-time job to make ends meet. She had never been married to the fathers of her children and received very little support from them.
One day, Mary received a call from her part-time job asking her if she could come in because another employee called out sick. She saw this as an opportunity to make a little extra money, so she said yes. It was late at night, but she was able to get a girlfriend to come by to sit with the kids while she went to work.
While she was at work, something tragic happened. There was a fire at her house which killed everyone in the house because they were all asleep when it happened. She has now lost all three of her children and her friend. The heartache is unbearable to carry. She is looking for answers and have yet to find any. She’s asking the tough questions. Why is this happening to me? Why did God allow this to happen to me? What did I do wrong?
I am lost for words. As many of you know, I am a former Pastor, but I can’t pretend to have the answers. I know many scriptures to try and help in time. But, what can be said right now to really help in this time and space?
So I decided to tell this story, with her permission of course, hoping maybe some of you could help us give some type of comfort and encouragement to this, “Mom in Mourning”.
Please respond by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or inbox us here.
Thank you for your assistance,
Charmaine Moss, Publisher of RWAM