A Tribute to My Mother

Today is my mother Brenda Carlyle’s birthday. She was born in 1968 and passed awat in 2010. I decided to do something different this year to pay tribute. Recreating this photo led to many tears adn emotions but I am thankful to have made this happen!

Happy 53rd birthday to the late 6’1” tall beauty who had an eye for the camera and nailed every picture she took.

To the person who gave birth to a woman who would be very fond of the camera once she started sewing and began to love her body.

To the woman who blessed me with a brother that I would later raise due to her passing at 42.

To the woman who taught me to keep my chest and chin out and walk with confidence even when I’m not feeling my best.

To the woman always dropped wisdom as much as she could because she knew she’d leave this earth early.

To the woman who sacrificed so much for me to have a better outcome in life.

To the woman who made sure that being strong was a choice for me, and not something that I needed to have due to living through trauma the way she had.

To the tall light beauty who told me my dark chocolate skin was GOLD.

To the woman who instilled Black Pride & Love in me.

To the comedian who always had jokes and was a walking sunshine wherever she went.

To the woman who shaped me into the woman I am today…

I cannot thank you enough for the impact you have made on me.

Momma I put my sewing skills to work and remade one of my favorite photos of you. I made the jacket, top and pants but damn trying to nail this pose you did was harder than I thought. Happy birthday Ms. Cocoa. I hope our ancestors are keeping you company, and I ask that you all continue to watch over me and the future that my family holds. I love you.

With love,

Your daughter, Kamali.

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