May 052014
 

Leather Lessons Learned… from my Mama

by maya

My mama, a huge part of my heart and soul, died a little over a week ago. I wrote some words to say at her
burial and as I’ve been thinking about and reading them again, I realized she was always teaching me some
very important lessons and values- honesty, integrity, loyalty, the importance of family and friends, love,
kindness and sharing, and much more.

As a proud member of the Leather Heart Clan, loyal friend, ethical champion of some hard causes, a kinky,
passionate woman and a passionate supporter of those I love and hold dear, I want to share some of what I
wrote to my Mama. She didn’t know it, but she was living Leather also. (I want to share some of what I wrote
to my mama last week, and the words in italics were written the past few days.)

“Literally, the first memory I have of you mama is me standing between your legs while you are brushing my
hair. You smell good, I feel happy and special. My little sis is sitting on the floor in front of us, I think she’s a
baby, and you must have just finished telling us a story because you said “and the lived happily ever after”.
Then you told me, you’re such a good, pretty, smart little girl and I love you. You can do anything!
To me, Leather family or individuals, even people in general, should make each other feel special, let them
know their strengths, build them up, let them know when they are proud of them. Be optimistic!

When I was 3&4 you taight me to play bouree with m&m’s, so I could learn my colors, & I developed a lifelong
love of cards; you taught me to swim, so I would turn into a mermaid at 14; how to pick a crab…
You wanted me to have fun, to be able to help myself & others, to be independent & self-assured. Use your
strengths to help others!

When I was in 2nd grade my sister misplaced her glasses. I marched to the principal and got them, marched
into her classroom and gave them to her. When I told you about it after school, you said “I’m proud of you xxxx,
that’s what sisters do, they look out for each other!
Let me repeat “that’s what sisters do, they look out for each other!” Or brothers, or friends, or aunts…, you
don’t have to be my blood, you are my family.

You were always showing me how special, how strong women were Mama! You and our Family and our
Friends were superheroes, mothers and friends, Wow! You told and showed me many times that “true friends
are the ones you can count on, no matter what!
Is there a lesson here? We hugged, argued, cried, we had fun, we laughed! And, we are friends to this day,
and for that I am grateful. Friendship is a precious gift, nurture it!

In high school I got in trouble for being too “independent”. I was a little scared to tell you, but when I did, you
said “xxxx, that’s okay,if you are standing up for something you believe in with your heart and soul, it’s okay!”
Dare to stand up, to have principles and morals, to be different, to be kind and have manners, to march to
the beat of a different drummer!

Husband one died. You consoled, you encouraged, you helped me to change and you never stopped loving
me. Another husband died. You were there for me in different ways. You told me time and again, you’re smart
and you’re tough and you’ll make it! We xxxx women do!
Leather family, blood family, true friends- wouldn’t it feel great to know you could change a person’s life just
by the things you say and do? You can! Support your family and friends through times good & bad!

Mama, you were a beautiful, smart, sexy, confident go-getter, spunky & tough, yet with manners and love! You
taught me so much- about life, love, the importance of family and friends! Mama, you were the quintessential
southern steel magnolia – silky, smooth, southern charm and manners on the outside but tough as steel inside!

I want to be like you when I grow up!