Today’s story is contributed by Marshall Davis Jones.
Marshall Davis Jones
I was six years old
in a national spelling bee.
. up until the final round
one word between me and victory
the spell master clears his throat
young man your word is father…..
Marshall Davis Jones is a world-bridger.His unique gift to make us think, feel and realize runs deep into the human experience. As a professional spoken word artist and dramatic performer, he has been featured in two TEDx Conferences, at the Musical Instrument Museum, the Omega Institute and BBC World Service.
His clients have included numerous colleges & universities (Pace, NYU, Utah State etc), The Leon Sullivan Foundation, the I.Am Angel Foundation and the Jordin Sparks Experience. He has shared the podium with the likes of Marc Lamont Hill, Ambassador Andrew Young, Henry Louis Gates, and Simon Sinek.
Marshall regularly conducts workshops with youth and adults.
After my mother died in 2007, my sister and I tackled the job of clearing out her house, room by room. I thought the kitchen pantry would be pretty straightforward, so I opened the door and surveyed the shelves.
My mother’s pantry: stockpiled with “just in case” supplies left untouched for years. I quickly tossed aside the boxes of stale crackers and cookies and emptied murky bottles into the sink. But tucked away in the farthest corner of one shelf, nearly hidden behind ancient cans of soup and boxes of petrified teabags, a little black box caught my attention. My mother had stashed her jewelry in unlikely places, so this box might contain a precious pair of earrings — or it could be empty. I reached for the box and opened it carefully.
And there she was: a wax angel who had rested peacefully in the pantry for over 30 years.
“You Gotta’ Have Balls” is Brandon Steiner’s inspiring book about how he grew up as a dirt-poor Jewish boy with no dad and no money. He and his mom got by on welfare stamps.
Things worked out. Today, his Steiner Sports is a multi-million dollar international brand, the heaviest hitter in the sports memorabilia world. Brandon is also a big-hearted guy and a valued, “What can I do for you?” personal friend.
How did he do it? “My mom,” Brandon proudly tells Savvy Dad.
Brandon’s mom Evelyn Steiner
“I had no dad. We had no money. But Mom took no excuses. She was forced to wear the ‘dad hat,’ and she wore it well. Mom would say, “I’m your mom and your dad too, so whatever I say goes double!”
We asked Brandon to share the most valuable lessons he learned from this remarkable woman, who served as both mom and dad. He asked that we share three, and you don’t mess with kids from Brooklyn, so here they are: READ MORE
A mother to none. Cervical cancer robbed her of that. But in a sense, she is a mom to thousands.
Kaziah’s first portrait of a fallen soldier: James Cawley of Utah.
Fallen soldiers. They are her daughters and sons. She’s never met a single one, but she’s loved — and mourned — many. They gave their lives protecting our country. She brings them to life on canvas. She gives them a presence in homes left behind. A lasting memory for those they loved most.
Kaziah Hancock is sometimes referred to as the Goat Woman. She lives on a small ranch in Utah with, you guessed it… about 100 goats. She’s a big-hearted lady who exudes independence and strength. To do what she does, you could be nothing less.
She explains in a news interview, “I don’t know how political I am. I don’t get into all that crap. I just love freedom, ok?” READ MORE
Arnetta White. My mother. Born in poverty. The youngest of twelve. She faced racism, sexism and segregation. And a troubled marriage, as well.
Kevin (standing left), Keith (seated), Mrs. Arnetta White, Mr. Henry White (Yon’s father), Me (infant)
After Dad left, Mom filled both parenting roles. She shined at both. We rarely felt an absence of dad.
But she never complained. Her strength of character and faith in God got us all through some difficult times. Her heart was so big, her effort so great; she made many sacrifices for us. In all of my life, I‘ve seen Mom cry only twice.
She raised my brothers and me on a housekeeper’s salary. Her venue each day: twenty-some rooms on a nursing home floor. Climbing ladders. Changing curtains. Mopping floors. Removing trash. For anyone—especially a heavyset woman of 60 — backbreaking work.
Then it happened. Mom suddenly became tired, light-headed, but wanted to finish her housekeeping duties. When she got home, she felt a lot worse. My brother rushed her to the hospital. READ MORE
Chloe Veron is 21, a junior at Harvard. I’m sure she has a remarkable dad. I know she has a remarkable mom.
Mom Joy and Chloe
Chloe’s mother saved her life … and her sister Annie’s … and her brother Elliot’s, but paid a dear price. Chloe and her sister Annie, produced one of the most heart-warming, videos I’ve ever seen. It’s a well-deserved tribute to an incredible mom.
At Savvy Dad, we normally talk about dads. For Mother’s Day, it’s our privilege to honor one amazing mom. After seeing the video (and shedding a tear with Roseann), I sent a message to Chloe in the hope that she might share a photo and perhaps a comment or two. We had not met or communicated before.
Stark white rims. Dark rose lenses. “Guessing Glasses,” according to Dad. “I have to guess how she feels!” Dad said.
Mom in her ‘Guessing Glasses’
The year the company discontinued “her style,” she bought all they had. White rims. Dark rose lenses. Mom’s guessing glasses. One day I asked, “Mom, what’s the deal with the white sunglasses? Always the same pair. You never take them off.”
She smiled, “Greg, how do you know when your dad is mad?” That’s easy, I thought. “The vein in his forehead pops out,” I replied.
“Exactly,” Mom said. “It’s a signal, right?” I nodded in agreement. I knew this well. (Pay attention. This next part is good.)
“That’s why I wear sunglasses,” Mom whispered. “What do you mean?” I asked. READ MORE