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I’ll Always Love My Mama!: WI Staff Salutes Their Matriarchs

Tributes from The Washington Informer staff to our mothers and to women who have stood in the place of our mothers throughout our lives. We salute them with our love and our remembrances:

D. Kevin McNeir, WI Editor

My mother, Edna L.A. McNeir Baker, 89, despite challenges associated with Alzheimer’s, continues to be my best friend and inspiration. This picture was taken a few months ago during our trip to Ft. Lauderdale during the NNPA midwinter conference — something she always anticipates with joy. For years, she took care of me, guided me, protected and encouraged me. Today, Mom lives with me and our roles have been reversed. But one thing has remained the same: our unwavering, unconditional love for one another. God knew what to do when making us one and I praise Him every day for making you mine.

Denise Rolark Barnes, WI Publisher

How blessed I feel every single day to still have my mother present in my life. God blessed me to have a mother who is loving, devoted, vibrant, active, beautiful and “woke” about many issues in her community. We’ve come a long way and she often reminds me that I wasn’t born with a “how-to” manual, so she raised me the best way she knew how. That’s all a child can ask for — A mother who tries to do her best and to be the best parent she (or he) can be. Well, you done good, Mother. I’m very proud to be your daughter and I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day full of love.

William J. Ford, WI Staff Writer

My mother taught me to work hard through all adversity. This picture taken June 30, 2001, became the last picture she and I took together, at least one she would wish to share publicly. She’s standing next to me on one leg after her entire right leg had to be amputated because of bone cancer. Before she died on Nov. 26, 2002, four days before her 58th birthday, she got to enjoy my son for nine months. Thank you, Hilda Mae Ford, for showing what toughness really meant. Love you forever!

Shevry Lassiter, WI Photo Editor

I’m so glad God made me your child. A piece of you in each of us makes my heart smile. Candie the nurturer, me the bold protector, Pam the quiet soul, Trice got the part that inspires and Babro, a combination of it all. I’m still wondering how it is that you make each of us feel like the favorite child.  For the nights when you prayed for me I am forever grateful. Through my successes and failures, you have allowed me to know what it means to be unconditionally loved. I’m still looking forward to the day when I really make you proud.

Mabel Neville, WI Bookkeeper

I would like to wish my mother, Louise Harper, a very special, happy Mother’s Day. I love “u” to the moon and back.

Jade James-Gist, WI Contributing Writer

After five years of being 2,000 miles apart, I see more and more of you every day. I stand like you, I think and speak in the same arcs and mannerisms and I finally admit it — I look like you too. For a long time, I resented becoming more and more like the after-school lecture-giving, stricter-than-my-friends’ parents, no-snacks-buying mom that I have. But without you, I wouldn’t be who I am. All my favorite parts of me came subconsciously from your example. I hope I grow more into my mother, who gave me my two best friends, my rich childhood and endless, tireless, thoughtful support.

Hamil Harris, WI Contributing Writer

I will always love my mother, Barbara Rodgers, because she raised me to love God and to be committed to church and educational excellence. My mother graduated from Florida A&M and then Boston University where earned her Master’s in Music.

Tatyana Hopkins, WI Staff Writer

I have always been surrounded by strong women — women who could mow lawns, light grills and make a dozen Thanksgiving sweet potato pies from scratch overnight. Women who stood tall in the face of adversity and mocked it. My mother (Tamika McPhail) and my grandmother (Sharlene McPhail) have been my biggest supporters and I can only imagine the sacrifice it took for them to give me and my five siblings such a comfortable life. All my life, I watched them work, sweat, cry and bleed to build a meaningful life for us. They taught me everything I know about love, empathy, hard work and faith. I am so blessed to have them.

Terri Schlichenmeyer, WI Contributing Writer

As we say around here, my mother’s a loon. She called me one Saturday, out of breath because she ran up the stairs — RAN — to make sure I turned my clocks forward that day. She didn’t want me to be late for anything … two days hence. Just takin’ care of me, I guess, like she has for, well, for a long time. She’s a loon, but she’s MY loon, and I’ll always love my Mama.

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