Happy Birthday Sister-Ven

Today is the birthday of the woman that I call Momma.  I cannot tell you how emotional it is for me to type this blog when a little more than a week ago I had to type a blog for my Granny’s birthday.  These two women changed my life.  I was born to a sixteen-year-old that had no idea what to do with a child.  My Mother and my Granny stepped in.

Sister-Ven, my Mom was the least selfish person I have ever known. I wish that there were words greater than thank you because that would fit.  Sister-Ven gave us everything that we needed and then some. Being sick and often times living from check to check we never knew that we were supposed to be poor.  There was nothing poor about us.

We all went to Catholic School.  We moved from the housing projects of the Robert Taylor Homes to a three story four-bedroom house.  My Mom did that!  What went on in our house stayed in our house no matter what.

I remember we would go to Downtown Chicago and we would see a movie at the Water Tower Place and then we would walk on Michigan Avenue.  We visited stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Marshall Fields.  I remember a woman being rude to us in a store and for some reason I was crying.  My Mom gave me my first lesson at being a black woman.  Never let them see you sweat.  I remember her pulling me to the side and telling me to wipe my face and stand up straight.  “These people in here are no better then you.  You don’t give in to their rudeness and you don’t cry.  You hold your head high and be about your business.”  She never had to tell me that again.

I remember being excited about the military ball.  I hadn’t been the first two years, but I wanted to go for my junior year.  I wanted a ball gown.  I had never been to a ball, but I had seen them on television and I had to have a ball gown.  My Mom tried to tell me that I just needed a dress, but I insisted.  I went to the mall after school and I found me a gown!  I remember her finally just saying ok.  We bought the gown.  I was asked to the ball by a boy named George.  I was all set to go with George until my bestfriend Toni told me that she really wanted to go.  I had to break it to George and he never spoke to me again.  I hadn’t told anyone what I was going to wear. Years later Toni and I would laugh about me in this full ball gown, but that night you couldn’t tell me nothing!

My Mom was a virtuous woman who would give you her last.  Who takes two children and raises them as their own, loving them like there is no tomorrow and never asks or expects anything in return?  Sister-Ven.

There are no words that can ever be thank you enough.  I want you to know that I have continued to be about my business.  I hope that I have made you proud.

Happy Birthday Sister-Ven.  I love you.

The Writer


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