Her name was Dorrienne (pronounced “Doreen”). In 1965, she gave birth to a little boy out of wedlock. It was eight years before Roe -vs- Wade, but I doubt that would have made much of a difference… she wanted a baby.
She literally re-wrote history in an attempt to spare this little boy the repercussions of being an illegitimate child. On his birth certificate, the spot about his father’s last name, she put down *her* last name, as she used her mother’s maiden name for herself. She spent her whole life compensating for him only having one parent.
Being a mother is hard work as it is… being a single mother is even harder. Yet she made it look so easy.
Every Christmas there were gifts under the tree. Every night, there was dinner on the table. All she ever asked of that little boy was to become the best person he could be. Stay in school, stay out of trouble, and make his life count.
At a petite five feet tall, she could make him freeze in his tracks with a stare. She never had to beat him, save for an occasional smack in the back of his head to knock some sense in him. Sure, they had their moments, their fights, their resentments… but it wasn’t until that little boy grew up, and became a parent, that he realized how many sacrifices and painful choices she had to make for that spoiled rotten little boy that got just about every thing he ever wanted or needed.She worked nights, so she could be there for him during the day. She worked the same job in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, from when he was a year old, till the day she was struck down by a car on a rainy night in April, 1985.
Dorrienne Brooks lingered for another four years, trying to overcome stroke-related paralysis & dementia (being struck by the car caused a blood vessel in her brain to burst), and then eventually skin cancer. She passed away on April 28th 1989 of post-op pneumonia. Her final moments were spent making her remaining family members promise to look after her little boy. Even in the end, she was more concerned for his well-being than her own…
I miss you mom.
I look for you in the stars, the cool summer breeze, even in the glimmer in my children’s eyes, and wonder if I’ve told you “I Love You” enough.
I wonder if I ever remembered to say “thank you” for everything you’ve had to do for me.
To all the hard working, under-appreciated mothers of the world (especially the single moms), HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY.
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