Journalist honors elderly mom's 93rd Mother's Day
LOS ANGELES, CA -- It was Mother's Day 2012 and I had no inkling how to honor my elderly mother, the woman who carried me in her womb during challenging social and economic times, delivered me in a "Negro" hospital in Greensboro, NC, and reared my three siblings and me to adulthood under suppressed conditions.
A store-bought card or a bouquet of flowers just couldn't cut it -- at least, not for me.
I wanted to honor my mother, a magna cum laude graduate of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, in a manner befitting a lady who was born when Thomas Woodrow Wilson was president of the United States of America, the Spanish flu pandemic was drawing to an end and Albert Einstein's general relativity theory was confirmed.
This story is not at all about excavating the skeletal remains of decades gone by, but rather tilling the mind, cultivating the soul and stirring the spirit of a wise woman who has lived longer than any other mortal in our immediate Raiford family and whose legacy is rich.
Mrs. Myrtle Raiford, a former elementary school teacher, missionary and devoted wife of a human rights crusader, deserved more than what a credit card, brief phone chat, text message or a quick online order could ever offer.
So my dear sister, former food scientist Janice Raiford Shaw, who has a total of five patents to her credit, concocted a great idea when she took my place by interviewing mom following Sunday church service. The Spring day was as ideal as the setting chosen to capture, in a rare moment, an endearing message about love, happiness and understanding.
Although our mother is experiencing some of the ill-effects of aging, her intimate thoughts about her own mother and the meaning of Mother's Day are poignant and evergreen.
Music and technical support were provided generously by John Eric Booth, a recording artist dedicated to keeping The Great American Songbook as alive as the existence of the many seniors his vocals touch.
The short, yet inspiring, video represents mom's first-ever public interview and honors her 93rd Mother's Day.
In less than two minutes, Mrs. Raiford delivers a slice of delicate life that will be treasured for generations to come -- long after I'm gone, thanks to 21st Century technology and all the social media born from it.
To view the video, follow this link.