Nobody loves you like your mother and nobody loved their mother the way that I loved mine.
Mama was small in size but she never ran from a fight. She said that anyone in her house had to adhere to her rules. I saw her swing on people that were twice her size and weight.
At the same time, she was caring and supportive. Almost all of my friends would follow me home, not to be with me, but to get a plate of Thelma’s food. They loved her collard greens.
They called her everything, Mama Black, Miss Gantt (even though my parents divorced and she remarried), Mama World (after my company All World Consultants) and more and she answered to everything.
One day, at a family gathering there was a discussion about college tuition money for a nephew of mine.
Angrily, I told my mother she and the family never gave me a dime to go to college and mama said, “We had it for you but you never asked us for it.”
Daddy taught me the street game and how to survive but mama taught me how to be a man, a husband and a father.
I used to laugh when my mother talked to her friends about my job. Mama would say, “My baby works at the TV station.” She had no clue about the work I did because I never discussed it.
When I published my first book of Gantt Report columns, I autographed a copy and gave it to her. She glanced at a few pages and put it down.
She said the crackers in Florida will string you up if you keep on writing like that but she never, ever told me to stop writing. She said my writing was “hard’ for her to read. I guess the truth really does hurt sometimes.
She could care less about The Gantt Report but she was the number one supporter of Lucius Gantt!
No job was too big or too good for her baby, no woman was the right woman for her baby and no situation or circumstance was too large for her baby to handle!
When mom passed away in her sleep one night, part of me died in her bed with her.
No mom is perfect but most moms are more perfect than imperfect.
I don’t usually drink alcohol but Christmas time was her favorite time of the year so every year during the Christmas holiday I try to have a sip or two of her favorite beverage, gin and grapefruit juice.
My mother’s spirit, and your mother’s spirit if you loved her, will live forever in me, you and others that loved and cared about them.
I also want to give a shout out to my surrogate moms who took me under their wings when Thelma took her final journey to the Land of the Plenty, Altermese Allen in Tallahassee, Ruby Ellison in Enterprise Alabama, Julia Cherry in Daytona Beach and Juanita Gray in Fort Lauderdale.