In Darkness She is All I See


My sister and I have two uniquely different relationships with our mother, largely because of our gender, mostly because of our age difference. The fact that we’re nine years apart plays a huge role in it because not only does that indicate the difference in our stages of development (I hit puberty when she potty trained), but also because our mother was at different stages of her life when she birthed and raised us. My mom gave birth to me two months after her 8th grade graduation, at which her valedictory speech was snatched from her because she was seven months pregnant, nine years later at 23 my sister was born.
Think about how much the world changed between 1978 and 1987: Bill Cosby, Thriller, Reganomics, Run-DMC, Spike Lee, Michael Jordan, Oprah, crack, and so much more, but one thing remained the same, the world according to Tracey Farmer. That world which was solely dedicated to me for much of that time, now was equally shared. The love she gave me is the love she gave to my sister Tranaè. The loves she gives us both to this day has not waivered by time, our mistakes or age, nothing comes between what she feels for us and nothing comes between how we feel for her.

My mother is a trainer by trade, and by nature. She’s prepared us for life; there hasn’t been an obstacle or moment in life that I’ve encountered that she didn’t cover during my childhood. That’s who she is, she’s incredibly efficient, every “t” crossed and “I” dotted. Our home was run like the workplace (with love), that way we were held accountable for our actions and understood the dynamic of being part of something larger than ourselves. She spoiled me (had some help along the way), she spoiled Trana√® (had more help along the world), but she loved us and taught us, which distinguished being spoiled from being babied, which goes further with me because she had to raise a man.

In raising me to be a man, there were lessons that I had to learn early, learn often, because I would go out into the world sooner, with a larger target on my back. I had to navigate anger, loss, women, self-reliance, respect, honor and myself. I stumbled. I fell. However, she was always right there to coax me to get back up. Even in my darkest nights, her face was all I needed to see.
I left my mother’s cleavage to stand as a man a long time ago, but when I chose the woman who would be my wife, I knew what type of woman she had to be. There were certain qualities that I’ve come to expect from women, the qualities I saw in the women I was raised by and around; a level of self-respect and determination, self-sufficiency, a sense of purity, she had to possess a light within strong enough to replace the one that directed me. Through God’s grace and Talib Kweli’s tardiness, a bit of Sunshine flickered my way…

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