Lottie Joiner: We are more than our Sister’s Keeper

by Kate on May 12, 2017

We are so incredibly proud of this year’s show! And we’d love to share it with everyone who couldn’t be there with us. We’ll be sharing the pieces that were read here (in show order) – which is about as close as we could get!  Our twelth reader was Director, Stephanie Stearns Dulli with The Giving Tree. And our final reader was Lottie Joiner…

We are more than our Sister’s Keeper

On February 14, 2017, I fainted in SunTrust Bank on Capitol Hill.

I was rushed to Howard University Hospital where it was determined that my blood pressure had dropped too low and I was dehydrated.

I posted my status on Facebook and within minutes the calls started coming.

First it was Kendra, who was glad I fainted in the bank and not home alone.

Then it was Benita. “Do I need to come up there?” she asked.

Well, Gladys had already text me. She would be coming to pick me up when she got off work in Rockville.

And the calls kept coming: Brucetta, Christine and later Hazel who asked:

“Do you have food at your house? Can I bring you something?”

The calls continued the next day with Syrinda and Barbra checking in and later Joann.

The amount of support and concern warmed me – and overwhelmed me.

On the day the nation celebrated love, I never felt so loved.

These are my single girlfriends. We live away from our families and for the most part we are all that each other have.

There are no husbands or children or boyfriends or significant others.

We are more than our Sister’s Keeper. We are each other’s Mothers.

A Mother is more than someone who just gives birth.

She nurtures – like when Gladys brought me soup, crackers and ginger ale when I had a terrible bout of food poisoning and then insisted that I not stay home alone, bringing me to her home.

A mother encourages, inspires, enlightens – like Brucetta, who always asks when I’m going to finish that book, and reminds me that I could be making so much more money with my talent.

A mother is sunshine  – like Christine, who dances to her own beat and has me dancing with her whenever there’s music or sound.

And a Mother, well, she will surely tell you about yourself – Straight, No Chaser – like Benita, who complimented me on my beautiful wonderfully made dress then asked me why I had on those pantyhose that were clearly not my shade of brown.

A Mother loves you NO MATTER WHAT:

My girlfriends have been with me through breakups, weight loss (and gain), job loss, new opportunities. When I had braids, cornrows, Senegelese twists, two-strand twists, a bob, – yes, a boy – and the big chop.

We do Easter brunch and birthdays and plays and museums.

We gather together on Thanksgiving and make our mothers’ Southern recipes: collard greens, macaroni and cheese, cornbread dressing, candied yams and potato salad. We’d have a Honey-Baked Ham on our table and of course what’s a Southern meal without Sweet Tea?

My own mother died of Lupus when I was just 10 years old.

At the time, she was 35 – brilliant and beautiful.

She was a dynamite – petite, but feisty and powerful.

She was a church woman, who wore big wide-brimmed hats and gloves on small petite hands.

She loved gospel music and Nell Carter from the 80s sitcom Gimme a Break.

She had 10 brothers and sisters who all looked up to her for guidance.

In her short lifetime, my mother made sure my sister Stephanie and I grew up better than she did.

And though my mother was in and out of the hospital a lot because of her illness, I always felt loved.

She was reassuring and comforting, supportive of my ability.

She saw my light and gave me hope.

On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, I sat in Howard University Hospital with an IV in my arm. And though my own mother was not there, I felt comforted and supported, nurtured and protected. MOTHERED.

It gives me hope.

We are more than our Sister’s Keeper. We are each other’s Mothers.

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