A Letter to Mom

Mom and Son
Dear Mom,

I love you. You taught me so much. The first thing you, as a strong lady, taught me about was how to be a strong man. You taught me how to love. How to be compassionate. You taught me how to be strong. For that, I am forever indebted. I remember when you used to walk me to school. I was eight years old and didn’t want to hold your hand anymore. You allowed me that freedom. I remember when we used to walk home from the grocery store and when I was tired you would say, “Hold my hand son, I will give you strength.” And I actually felt the strength passing through from your palm and fingertips unto mine.

You used to tuck me into bed every night. And make sure I wasn’t scared of the dark. You made sure I was safe. When I was worried, I would yell, “Mom!” And you would say, “Yes Son, I’m right here. You okay?” I wouldn’t answer. You knew I was good. You don’t look the same to me laying in that hospital bed as you did when I think back to those days. But I remember so much.

I have accepted that this is life. Before you go into eternity, I hope you speak prior words to yourself. Keep the door open. Let the doctors treat you and let you come home – healthy and strong. When pops was going through his battle, you were there for him. You pushed on through his struggles. And through your love, everything was alright. So now, don’t cry. Be strong. Don’t shed no tears, but if you have to, shed them strong. And know, that I love you and I will always love you. For now and forever.

I feel Black. You married a Black man. You are white. You are me. But when I tried to grow my hair they never looked at it the same way as they did the other white boys in my class. They never said it, but I felt it, so I shaved my hair. I am a Black man, operating in the world that we live in. But I have a strong white woman who reads, edits and agrees with every last opinion that I espouse. If you didn’t, I wouldn’t go forward with my thoughts. That is how much I respect you. That is how much I love you.

You always kept me solid and consistent. Every little thing I did you supported. You asked questions, you wanted to know, you wanted to love. I felt the love always. These things I do now are because of you. Because I remember so much. Because I remember the love you gave me when you realized that I had my own path to venture on.

I am tired and exhausted. It is hard thinking about how much you mean to me with the realization that you might slip into eternity shortly. I shed tears every night. I want you to hold me forever and tell me that everything will be okay. I can’t do without you mother. That is the scary part. You are my rock.

Me and Tiny will try to be fine. We grew up together. Dad took us places you probably wouldn’t have approved of. He married a strong white lady who loved him until the end of time. And for that, he loved and loves you forever. But he’s hurting. His heart drips for you.

I pray that you fight. I pray that this illness will never rearrange your mentality and your wisdom. You are the strongest human being I will ever meet in my life. Your essence is greater than spirituality itself. With you, everything is alright. You are a God to me. Your melody is so true. I will not lose you. Not now, not ever. Forever more.






Nov. 9th 1950 – March 9th 2015



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Matthew R. Morris

Educator, Speaker, Writer

Matthew R. Morris is a writer, speaker, and elementary educator in Toronto. He has an M.A. in Social Justice Education from OISE at the University of Toronto and is the author of the forthcoming book, Black Boys Like Me. 

Matthew R. Morris

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