I wasn’t sure if I could do this because it would force me to think long and hard about the person I’ve loved the most ever in my life.
I could for sure use the money though from the contest I’m entering this piece into and I figure what’s the worst that could happen? Knowin’ ma mummy, she would very much approve of an article about her and how awesome she is. So, here goes…in honor of Women’s Day and this phenomenal woman I had the pleasure of being mothered and mentored, my “women who inspire” piece.
I met my mother on October 15, in a year I refuse to disclose in solidarity to my fellow women everywhere. I have a public library of memories, thoughts and realizations about her so far and I haven’t even cracked the mid-life crisis stage yet. #sendhelp. Some of these things have been especially difficult for me to deal with because she passed in 2014. And sadly, cliche as it might be, I’ve only realized the levels of her love and sacrifice since then, as well as how much her support uplifted my entire life.
She was a typical “hot gyal mummy”, who would go out for “work purposes” all the time. She had this crazy amazing energy that forced people to gravitate towards her and my childhood was filled with social events and reasons for me to dress up, which I most definitely hated then just like a tomboy should. My mummy worked hard af to give my brother and I what we needed AND what we wanted. She left her entire family in Montego Bay to move to Kingston, worked her way all the way up from bank teller to…
Interjection: I have a confession. I am a black woman who heard a weird-ass sound in her apartment and guess what I did?! Went to go check!!!! What is wrong with me?! It was nothing but…I guess you never know what you would do in a situation til it happens to you, huh? Lmao…hopefully I get to finish this article! LOL, anyways, as I was saying…
She loved [her job] most times from what I saw, but you could tell she was driven by something else she was proud to show off to her entire office…her kids.
My mom was a phenomenal woman. Professionally, she worked her way up the ranks of 1 of the biggest financial institutions in the country, Scotiabank, Jamaica from bank teller to VP of Sales & Merchandising. Then, she boss-moved her way over to the other bank heavy-hitter in yahd (aka Jamaica), National Commercial Bank, NCB. She work, work, work, work, work, worked for real. She loved it most times from what I saw, but you could tell she was driven by something else she was proud to show off to her entire office…her kids. The meaning of this, hit like a ton of bricks when I had my daughter a few years ago.
Personally, my mother who I haven’t named til now, Marcia Dawn Fletcher, was just as powerful in her influence. Good vibes in the dictionary of my mind is HER! She would make me laugh at absolutely anything but was firm as steel when it came to discipline and morals. Shout outs ma granny for that one also. I would enter a room with her in her office and you would feel the whole energy change. After the excitement of oh-my-God-you’re-so-big, people were ALWAYS excited to see her and it was obvious why…it was hard not to feel like a superhero on laughing gas in her presence. Her words would wreak of positivity and creative things. She would think of the grandest idea and scold you for doubting your abilities to make it happen for yourself or with her. She would congratulate my wins but still push me to get more. “Wow my baby! You got 95% on this test?! That’s awesome, let’s order some crab!“ We loved that shit. So, I’d be feeling myself for a bit til she’d add “…but question though, what happened with the other 5%?” DAMN YOU MOMMY!!! I’m crying and laughing at the same time.
People were ALWAYS excited to see her and it was obvious why…it was hard not to feel like a superhero on laughing gas in her presence.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we didn’t have a perfect relationship. I am a hundred million percent sure I stressed her the fxck out as a teenager especially. Can you imagine watching your child with so much potential she won a scholarship at 10 years old from the fucking government looking like she’s throwing her life away because she all of a sudden doesn’t care about grades anymore?! I’m looking at my daughter, Calimarie Dawn, yes i did ;), like if you try that you would be on a plane to Jamaica SO FAST! lol I kid. But I just constantly hear myself saying things now that ma modda would say back then over and over like, “I can’t wait til you have a daughter of your own to see how this feels.” #nailonthehead mummy, thanks. I wish I could tell you how right you were but also tell you how important all of that crazy I put you through was to me becoming who I am today, which I’m super proud of. Not because of things you told me, but mainly because of the way you made me, and others feel. You taught me what it is to be strong and to never give up and to persevere no matter what for what you love. I had to fight along time to get her to understand why I loved music so much that I would give up an easy-in for careers that would set me up for life. Being who she was, after she decided to accept it, she became this fucking cheerleader, more than she already was. Like another phenomenal woman I know she clearly understood the words,
“… people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”– Maya Angelou
Women’s Day is bittersweet for me because, while I love women because of the woman I was raised by, the celebration itself reminds me that the amazing woman who raised me isn’t here for me to share these grown up moments with. Anyways, this is how I’m choosing to celebrate her this year for Women’s Month, Day and also Mother’s Day cuz I can’t be crying down the place like this on a regz.
So mummy, I love you. I miss you more than my writing brain can even begin to accurately depict on paper. I forgot why I was doing this as I tear up again. You have made me into a strong, patient, loving, passionate, persistent, strategic and creative, ambitious, positive, confident & FUNNY af female and I wish you could read this in human form. But, until science figures out how to fish your ashes from the water, puzzle-piece them back together and restore consciousness, I’ll just imagine your 100-decibel laugh with a halo on top. I STRIVE to be as bossed up as you taught me to be and to pass on your socially hereditary good vibes to future generations. Also, I hope anyone with a lost mama can relate and that all of you who see this will send a mental “like” to the woman who inspired & empowered me to be me, fiercely, my mummy!
Camille Kaye is a Jamaican Singer-Songwriter, Entertainer and Creative Director born and raised in Jamaica who helps music-lovers connect to Dancehall music by integrating its culture with mainstream energy, #DancehallRandB. Sign up for her mailing list via The CKreatives INC to keep up with her and her creative crew.