What My Parent's Mean to Me
Updated: Nov 17, 2021
People often say that children are a reflection of their parents, or lack-there-of if parent's weren't present growing up. Well I can proudly and thankfully say that both my parent's were present, and there every step of the way for my brothers, and I growing up. I know not everyone can say that, and when I think about that, it hurts to think about honestly. People handle, and deal with their parents in different ways, and have unique relationships with their parents, that are all different from one person to the next. In this post I am just going to express my parent's and how they have impacted my life.
Ever since I was young, I have been able to watch the standard and example my parents passed down to me. Some lessons I learned as a kid, but didn't understand, or appreciate until I was older. Shall I count the ways...? As a teacher, who has to interact with kids on a daily basis one of the basic, but huge things I appreciate is having good home training. There are just certain things a child needs to learn at home, and once they do, they know not to do it in school, or in public in general. Again knowing that my parents taught me, and disciplined me whenever I stepped out of line, or my manners weren't on display, I completely get and respect more as a young adult. All of it was definitely necessary.
Whenever my brother's and I were hungry, my parents always had food on our table for us to eat, share, and enjoy. We have never gone hungry, even in rough times. Even when we didn't know where a blessing was going to come, or how we were going to make it from one week to the next, we always made it to the next week. With faith, everything is possible!
My mother can make something out of nothing in a second. She's the best cook in our family, (might be one of all time), but that's just my opinion. There is a song by Tupac Shakur called "Dear Mama", and in the song he has a verse that exemplifies my mom to the letter! Every time I hear this particular part of the song I definitely start reflecting, and thing about my mom and all she does.
"Cause when I was low you was there for me
And never left me alone, because you cared for me
And I could see you comin' home after work late
You're in the kitchen, tryin' to fix us a hot plate
You just workin' with the scraps you was given
And Mama made miracles every Thanksgivin'
But now the road got rough, you're alone
You're tryin' to raise two bad kids on your own
And there's no way I can pay you back
But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated!"
Can you believe my parent's helped, and watch my two brother's and I all through college? Three young willing, and educated Black men through college?! How many parent's can say that? My older brother graduated from UC Davis, my younger brother from Howard University, and myself from Hampton University. We all had our own unique paths through. No college journey is the same, and we all went through our own struggles while we were in college I am sure of it. But there they were, paying tuition for us, sending us money to survive college life, or just being a listening ear when we called. Even if they were busy at their own jobs, they made time. Our parent's have always supported us when we needed them. Seeing that, only makes us as sons, as brothers, as young adults want to pay it forward, and back some way some how to our mom and dad. It doesn't have to be monetary. Sometimes with our accomplishments, and them being able to see the success all three of us are having, and building in this difficult world we live in is enough. Knowing we are all uniquely in our own way staying afloat, keeping a job, and making our way through life, with struggles, but not falling all the way down is what they want to see from us. None of us are without a job, and helpless. We each have made a special impact on this world, and on people in life.
My dad will do whatever it takes to support my mother, and my brothers, and I. I have seen him hold multiple jobs at a time. Even working weekends sometimes to make sure we had extra money as a family when it was necessary. Coming home late sometimes, and although sometimes it might go unmentioned, it will never go unappreciated. Knowing my father makes it home after a long day to our family is something I know that a lot of young Black men who don't have that in their life, pray they did. Again, as I grow, and soon start my family eventually, I want to always be there in every way I can for my wife and kids. Be it as a father first, husband first, coach, provider, a father has got to wear many hats, and take on that huge responsibility, but knowing your family will gain from that hard work makes it all worth it. That's what I see in my dad, and I will continue to make strides, and sacrifices as I grow into that role in my life eventually!
In the play and movie "Fences", by August Wilson, there is a scene where the father is setting the expectations for affection, and verbal appreciation all the time. The excerpt is below, and reading the lines doesn't do it justice, especially if you hear the way James Earl Jones delivers the performance. It can be viewed here: (https://youtu.be/K_kGtQmvrVI), and obviously I am not living the exact life as the one portrayed by the son in the movie, but when he references showing love by keeping a roof over their heads, and going to work every day, and as a black father returning home every night, that is truly what love from a father should be in my eyes. Whenever I view this clip, and I view it more than one might expect because when I was in college in my acting class, I did this very scene playing the father, so the lines have since stuck with me. I love my dad for all the nights he came home late, and still helped me with my work if needed, in the society we live in today where some, not all, men can't remain faithful to one wife, I have seen the love my dad displays for my mom and it is special!
As we continue to grow, we all continue to use the life skills, and knowledge our parents gave us. We will always try, and give our best effort when it comes to challenges in life. Never afraid to try on our own, but also never afraid to ask our parent's for help. As a family, the Eggleston/Jackson family will continue to make strides, and support each other as a family should. Nothing in this world together we won't try and accomplish with the help of each other. And that's just our immediate family. I can't begin to tell or go into how wide the net expands from our entire family goes. That's what a family does, and is though. I got your back, you've got mine. Let's all enjoy, and share our family success together for life!