My mother will never have an opportunity to read this unless I read it to her.

Going to any book store or library is sentimental for me. Growing up as a child, my mother always used to tell me to look at the pictures in books. 

She would look at me as I curiously open up a book and turn through the pages. One day, I said while looking at the pictures in a Doctor Suse book and said, “Mama read this to me.”

I was excited to hear her read to me. My smile was just bright. I thought that it would happen.

I would finally hear my mother read to me.
Her dark brown eyes danced all over my face as if she was on the verge of crying. She looked away. 

“That book is for you to read. Not me, Linda. I can’t read. I sho’ can’t read the book to you.”

I looked at her feeling the embarrassment and defeat slash through my heart with pitchforks of rage. 

“What you mean you can’t read, mama?”

“You heard what I said. Now, you don’t start feeling bad for me. It’s alright.”

I walked away from my mom. My book was in my hands. I went on the paint chipped and termite chewed porch of our home. I sat down in one of the patio chairs my mama had taken from someone’s garbage. 

I held my book close to my chest and cried. I didn’t care who saw me. I just wanted to release the tears that needed to come out.

I was five years old when my mama told me that she didn’t know how to read. It hits you differently when you know you had to read for not just yourself at a young age. I thought everyone’s mother or father knew how to read. I wanted to believe that maybe my mama was just tired that day. However, she spoke her truth.

I later found out that my grandmother never wanted any of her four children to have an education. My grandmother never wanted her children to think that having an education made them valuable in this life.

My mother was raised by a woman who glorified getting a job and getting money before getting an education. Therefore my mother never was able to read. Her mother prevented her from living a full life. Her mother stood in the way of her happiness. 

My mother knew how to count money, tell the time on a clock, and how to use a calculator. She was able to cook. She learned by being told what things said, how they operate, and from word of mouth. 

I use to want her to tuck me into bed with a bedtime story, but that wasn’t realistic. I use to want to read the Bible with my mother too. Both were things that would never happen. It took me years of trying to help and encouraging her to read.

I then realize that she didn’t want my help. She also didn’t have the desire to read anymore.

By the time I was in the third grade, I was reading on a sixth-grade level. My preschool teacher taught me how to read. She came to my house and sat on the sofa with me after school and read to me. Her name was Mrs. Carter. I am forever grateful for that woman. 

She had faith in me. 
She saw my potential. 
I loved how patient she was with helping me.
Her gift for teaching was a blessing to me. 
A blessing that helped me break a generational curse.

Reading helped me to cope with life and brought me happiness. I broke generational curses every time I read a book. I took pride in teaching my younger sister and brother how to read.  My mother wasn’t the bad guy.

In fact, she always wanted her children to read, write, and get an education. She knows she wasn’t raised right. I always admired how my mama never stopped me from learning. 

In fact, she encouraged me to read as much and whenever I wanted. Reading took me on the mental vacations that my mama couldn’t physically afford. Reading brought me closer to God. Reading helped me develop my love for writing. I enjoy using my talent to use words so that I painted a visual mind movie for my reader. 

I’m forever thankful that I can now share my love for reading with my own child and future children. I enjoy going to the library or bookstore with my son Eli. He gets excited as we discover new books. Eli loves looking at my expression as he tries to sound out words. He loves to pick a book for me to read to him before bed. It’s moments like these that keep me humble and grateful. 

I accepted that my mother will never read my blog or my first book. I always tell her that I will have an Audible version of my book just for her. I want to encourage you to never lose your inner child. 

Nurture your inner child with love, adventure, and happiness. Dream and live in color. There’s a vast world that still hasn’t heard your truth or experience your spirit. Embrace the moments that make you feel the most at peace. Accept your truth. Never be ashamed to share your truth. 

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  1. This hit home. I to as a child went Through the same thing but that never brought me down . As I encourage my 10-month-old by reading to him as well.

    1. Wow, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your truth with me. As mother's we understand what our mother's went through and how knowing how to read is a blessing.