Several years ago, Toya Graham, a single mother of six, spotted her son in the middle of the Baltimore riots, and she marched into the melee, grabbed her son, and gave him “what for” in a video that soon went viral.
The New York Post carried a headline proclaiming, “Forget the National Guard . . . Send in the Moms” to tame the Baltimore rioting. Baltimore police commissioner Anthony Batts commended her.
“I wish I had more parents who took charge of their kids tonight.”
Graham said, “To see my son come across the street with a rock in his hand, I think at that point, I just lost it. . . for him to do what he was doing, it was just unacceptable.” The video captures her confronting and slapping her son. She carried him home to safety.
That’s what good moms do, stay involved in their kid’s lives and watch out for their well-being. I’m so thankful my mom watched out for us. At the time I thought she was strict, but she was just being a great mom. She successfully raised four boys, nurturing, guiding, overseeing, encouraging, and preparing us for life.
I admire my Mom. She loves the Lord and taught us to love the Lord. Her Bible and devotional booklet rest on her lamp table, right by her recliner, where she sits and reads God’s Word every day. She raised us in church and did all she could to point us to a personal relationship with Jesus. She still prays for us daily and watches me preach online every Sunday.
Mom taught us to be honest and tell the truth. However, I did have a memory lapse as a teenager.
Making a poor decision, I caved-in to peer pressure one time as a group of boys I was with ventured into a watermelon field and each helped himself to watermelons. I walked in the door with a huge watermelon in my arms, and Mom asked, “Where did you get that watermelon?”
I told her I took it from a man’s watermelon field.
She said, “You know better than that. You take that watermelon right back out there and put it back where you found it.” And I did.
Mom encouraged us to do our best at whatever we did. I was a “B” student. I wanted to be an all-A student, but that just didn’t happen, especially in math. I struggled with math. Occasionally, as something was explained in class, I’d “get it,” but most of the time I was lost.
Mom said, “Just do your best.” As long as we did our best, she accepted our grades.
Mom often shared her wisdom. We didn’t always appreciate it at the time, but now we see how wise she really is. She’d say things like, “If everybody else is jumping off a cliff, does that mean you’ll jump off a cliff?” and “I don’t care if Johnny’s mother is letting him do it, I’m not Johnny’s mother.”
Mom excelled in her professional life. She was a secretary and eventually worked many years at Georgia College and State University. Her department chair recommended her to the president’s office, and she moved into that opening to work for the president. She was well-respected.
I attended Georgia College for two years while living at home. We lived close enough to come home for lunch.
My dad, mom and I would be sitting around the table, and Mom would ask, “Who was that blonde you were talking to at the post office this morning?”
She had eyes all over campus, and often someone would comment to Mom, “I saw your son in the student center this morning” or some similar report. That’s just the way it was in that setting, but it didn’t bother me. My mom was interested in what was going on.
Proverbs 31:28, speaking of the woman of valor, reads, “Her children rise up and call her blessed.” I’m the one who is blessed to have my Mom.
(Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, GA. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road, and invites you to join them for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 8:45and 10:55 a.m. online and in person. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org and “like” them on Facebook. View more of Chancey’s writing at www.davidchancey.com and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org).