Daughter Encourages Me to Live My Best Life

By Cheryl Mattox Berry

This Mother’s Day my daughter, Jasmine, flipped the script and surprised me by saying how proud she was of me for fulfilling my dream – writing “Memphis Blues,” my first novel.

For the last 27 years, I’ve been her biggest cheerleader for everything she’s done – from her championship tennis days in high school to enrolling in Tulane University last year for a master’s in public health. I made her listen to Lee Ann Womack’s song, “I Hope You Dance,” telling her that the beautiful words in that inspirational song are what I wish for her throughout her life.

So imagine my surprise when she gave me a book entitled, “Blossom Black Girl,” an affirmation journal by Ericka J. Duke. It’s a book I would buy for her, but she said I would appreciate the message at this point in my life. She’s right. I smile and my eyes well up every time I glance at the colorful wildflowers on the cover.

I’ve never been into journaling, but I’m going to start because the words on each page stir my soul and urge me to speak my truth. In the dedication, Duke says “the major point in the meaning of blossom is to grow, develop, and flourish uniquely – just as you are right now in all your glory.” That pretty much describes how I feel as a new author – full of hope and determination as I embark on this journey.

I’m also getting used to Jasmine and Andre, my son, offering words of encouragement as I go to book signings and literary events. I laugh to myself when I hear them repeating things I told them before tennis matches, piano recitals and school plays. It’s a strange but wonderful feeling.

If your mother, godmother or surrogate mother has done something that makes you proud, be sure to tell her today, tomorrow or whenever it pops into your head. As moms, we are busy taking care of others and oftentimes don’t know what impact we make on their lives.

We’d love to hear how you feel. It will make us smile and brighten our day.

“Memphis Blues” can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Memphis-Blues-Cheryl-Mattox-Berry/dp/0692882456

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