I love my ma and I want the whole world to know it

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 10, 2006

If I could sing, I would pick up the phone and sing her a song. If I could dance, I would

prance around doing an interpretive piece to show her how much I care. If I could paint, I

would use oils and a canvas to display my affection for her.

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But I can’t do any of those things – well, I can – but I am not that good at it. However, I am a

writer. So this week, in honor of Mother’s Day, I will use this space to put in black and

white how much I love my mommy.

My mom. I don’t know what I can say about her, but then again what can’t I say about her.

She’s strong, beautiful, kind, honest, funny, stylish, caring, appreciative, giving, loving – I

could go on, but I am sure you are already sick of the adjectives.

I know most people think this, but I can honestly say there isn’t anyone that could compare

to my mommy. Wait, let me rephrase that, there isn’t another WOMAN on this earth that

could compare to my mommy – I love you too daddy!

Her name is Leola Baldwin and she is my mommy. She was born and raised not far from

here in small towns such as Catherine and Flatwood, but after marrying my father, James,

more than 30 years ago, they moved to New York, then to Connecticut.

They had three boys – Christopher, James Jr., and Rome- all of whom were about three to

four years apart, but they always wanted a girl. A precious little baby girl that they tried

three times to get, but never got. Finally, ten years later, they had me. Thank God!

Anyway, back to my ma. In my 22 years on this earth, I don’t really remember her crying or

seriously having a “breakdown.” She always handled things with such grace.

Even when my grandmother, her mother, died, my mother was strong. To my memory, she

didn’t cry and she was there to hold the rest of the family together.

As my aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and I lost all control of our tears and sanity, my

mother was strong and never once lost her composure – at least not in front of me. She

wasn’t cold, because you could see pain in her eyes, but at the same time, you could see that

she was determined to hold herself together for the sake of the family.

She’s just that kind of woman. She’s the rock. She’s my rock. No matter what it is, she is

there to stand by me – unless it’s something she thinks might not work out for the best.

I can remember my sophomore year in college when I wanted to change my major from

pre-med to journalism. We were almost at war.

But that’s like most parents. With all the struggling writers in the world, who would want

their baby girl to chose that life over a successful pediatrician.

We went back and forth for weeks. However, it wasn’t until my mom found out that Oprah

was a journalism major, or had something to do with journalism in college, that it was ok for

me to become a writer.

Finally we were at peace and now my mom is waiting on me to complete my first novel and

become the next Oprah. Uh, yea, ma…I don’t know if my life will really turn out that way

but I’ll try.

You know how there are those moms and daughters who are more like best friends? Well,

that’s not us. Well, it is kind of, but there’s a level of respect and appreciation that creates a

fine line between girlfriends and mother/daughter that I don’t want to cross.

We go shopping, get our nails done, get our hair styled and talk about boys. Matter of fact,

most of my friends are amazed about what me and my ma will discuss on our daily phone

conversations. But there are times when I know that woman is something more than a

friend. The times when I need someone to talk to when no one else is around. The times

when I just need to vent. The times when I want to cry and don’t have a shoulder to lean on

in my apartment. My ma is always there with me – even though she’s in Connecticut. She’s

always there to make me feel better, to comfort me, to tell me that it will be ok. And if I need

to knock someone out, she’s there to help in case they are bigger than me – just kidding.

But she’s always in my corner and she’s never turned her back on me.

For that, ma, I thank you and I love you. You understand me like no one else ever will and I

can only hope to be half the woman that you are.

Writer’s note:

Pop, don’t you worry. Father’s Day is coming up soon and that will be your day. But this

time it’s all about ma.

– Andriena Baldwin is a staff writer for The Demopolis Times.