We all have a mother. fact. Everyday I meet people who I know have a mother. But each of these people are different. Each and every one of us.

I have a Mommy! I would never trade my Mommy for anything/anyone else in the world. Everything I am and do now I owe to mommy.

As a child going to St. Francis and Joseph Primary school, I still remember the days we would walk around the corner to the Royal Botanical Gardens to visit mommy at work. we had the entire gardens to play in and roam around in, to develop my love of nature and learn about the plants and their local uses and get dirty. I never lost this. Thank you Mommy!

I remember early mornings in our neighborhood walking around with a basket and a pair of scissors, when mommy would give me a list of plants she would be teaching her Bahamahost students about. I would go to the neighbors and ask if I could have a clipping of their plant and sometimes tell them a little about the plant that I learned from my Mommy. As I was learning the plants, I was learning to only take as much as was needed, how to speak to my neighbors and how to take joy in a simple job. Thank you Mommy!

Later on, I got my first part time job at the chicken farm through Mommy’s connections. I saw the chickens as they were incubated, housed and fed, killed, cleaned and packaged. The baby chicks would try to escape the crates and some of them would be crushed and killed. The adults in the big houses would eat centipedes, worms, maggots and other chickens that had been caught in the conveyor belt that carried their food. There was the first time I saw someone have a seizure. I saw the workers eating Kentucky Fried Chicken outside the slaughter house. I did not eat Kentucky for awhile after that, though eventually I did. Still, I think of the value of life when I eat any meat. It makes me more respectful of life and I will always carry that with me. Thank you Mommy!

I remember that we would use no kill traps to remove the rats from our house. I was still in primary school, but mommy explained to me that they carry diseases that we did not want in the house and it was to protect us, but to dispatch them she would drop the entire cage in a bucket of water. The rats would drown. Conflicted as children would be about the death of an animal, I would come after she left and lift the container out of the water. She explained to me that that made the rats suffer longer, though they had to die, they should not suffer and no animal should suffer. This compassion for vermin tempered with the need for their eradication gave me a balanced view which continues to take a prominent place in my outlook on animal welfare and kindness, even in killing. Thank you Mommy!

One of the greatest gifts my Mommy has given to me though, is the huge family of people she has brought into my life, directly and indirectly. Mommy’s ripples of kindness continue to impact me in strange and diverse ways through the people she has helped, because that is her way. Filling out an activity in 9th grade I realized that I had more Grandmothers than anyone else, Ma Rena in Andros, Grumma in the Grove, Ma Dora in Inagua, Gramma in Seabreeze (via Lawrence and Cheska them). I found out later that I gained all these “extra” aunts, cousins, grandmothers, sisters because my mom helped someone in the past and they became sisters. I still go home and people will tell me “You is Ms. Davis son, ey? *You killin’ ya ma boy.” It always makes me smile. I “**born fa luck” I know I look like Mommy and the luck comes from having such a great Mommy, that my face is like a passport to loving-kindness and respect wherever I go, because Mommy paved the way. Thank you Mommy!

As I am writing this I am thinking of our son #LeonardoDavis, whom we would not have if I had never met Alma. Whom I never would have met had I not gone to UMES. Where I never would have gone had I not gone to Abaco for the Abaco Parrot Project. Where I never would have gone had I not completed the Kirtland’s Warbler Research and Training Program. Which I never would have been recruited to had I never asked  Eric Carey to get some fish from the Botanical Gardens pond. Whom I never would have met had it not been for Mommy. and throughout, she has bailed me out financially, emotionally, spiritually and with her supremely balanced way of looking at things. Thank you Mommy!

Today (October 26th) is my Mommy’s birthday. Also our wedding anniversary, the date chosen by chance by Alma’s father, who happened to be born the same year. Alma’s birthday is May 27th, the same as my maternal biological grandmother. So how’s that for being born for luck.

So today, I just want to say Thank you Mommy! and in celebration of my Mommy, if you know her, please call, email, text or Facebook her to tell her “Thank you Mommy.” and if you have ever said thank you for something I did, please tell her “Thank you Mommy.” And then, after that, go tell your Mommy and all the Mommy’s in your life, Thank you Mommy.

*You killing ya ma. Is a Bahamian expression that means you look a lot like your mother.
** born for luck refers to a male child that looks like their mother. It is said that these children will have good luck throughout their lives.

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