The Tribe I Didn’t Know I Had…

Probably my most talked about piece among my girlfriends has been the “Who is in your Tribe” post.

I often think about how my tribe is going to support and lean on each other as we progress through life:

Career changes and new business adventures

First borns

Pregnancy battles

Relationship challenges and divorce

Navigating new marriages

And I want to make sure that we are here for each other through ups and downs. Pick each other up when life feels hard or cheer each other on when celebrations are needed.

Lately, I have been thinking ‘what am I doing to impact the newly formed lives that my tribe has brought into this world’.

This came to me after I got one of the most amazing surprises I have gotten (outside of my engagement) to date.

Saturday, March 16. My mom asked me to attend a luncheon with her. She was in town for a conference. She wanted me to attend a luncheon to meet some of the Black women she connected with during the conference.

Of course I said yes.

Now if you know me, I always have several questions. It is really hard to surprise me. When I am doing something I am not familiar with I will always have several follow up questions.

So as I am in the car riding with my mom to this luncheon, I am firing off questions.

So how many ladies are going to be here?

Is there a topic of discussion?

How long is this going to last?

Why couldn’t I drive separate?

My mom was probably like “girl just be quiet”. But she knows me.

After a 20 minute ride we get to the restaurant and we walk towards this private room and to my surprise this was not a luncheon for a conference.

It was a luncheon for me.

She gathered her entire Tribe together to shower me. The bride-to-be.

These were women who baby sat me when I was a kid.

The women who I looked up to as my cool Aunties and second Moms.

The women who I loved to be around because they were beautiful doing amazing things in their lives.

Women who I modeled what my future friendships would be like when I got older.

These were my Mom’s girls, her everythings. And they were are gathered to celebrate me as I embark on this new journey in life.

Talk about an AMAZING surprise.

It gets better y’all!

Each woman hand wrote me a note with stories of when I was a kid. They shared details about me as a little girl. Included pictures of me when I was little girl and even included pictures of my late-father.

As we sat around the table each of the women gave me advice. Advice about becoming one with another person. How to fight fair. And several comments about always putting God first.

But let me share a few excerpts:

…I remember the little Jemia with ponytails in fashion shows. Whew time flies, now you are grown and ready to be the most beautiful bride. May you have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of and a wonder life as “MRS”. Please continue to be the sweet person that you are. Here’s a few words of wisdom as we will be celebrating 34 years of marriage to the LOVE of my life….

Mrs. Cynthia

…Remember to keep God, laughter and communication in your marriage. I know you will be a beautiful bride. Your soon-to-be husband better treat you right or else…

“Aunt” Cookie

…On that day you called me and told me you wanted me to meet someone – I knew he had to be someone special. I knew without seeing /talking to him that he was the special one for you. You do realize Julian is the first man you introduced to me and that meant a lot to me because it meant you waited for the right man to enter you life…I can see Joe nodding his head in agreement and smiling at you.

“Momma” Green

…As you become a wife, may it be a priority in your life to keep Good first in your marriage. Really try to divide up the tasks of your household where it doesn’t matter who does what, but that each of you is willing to do whatever is needed…

Angela Bowen

I have 17 cards/hand written notes from my moms Tribe.

When I got home and started opening up this box of letters I was beyond myself. I was so thankful that my mother did this for me, but even more thankful that my mother has amazing friends who cared for me as I was their own.

These women always prayed over me, looked after me and made sure I knew that they loved me.

This is what I want for my friends and their children, boy or girl. I want them to know how much they mean to me and regardless of time or distance. I got you no matter what.

A few of these women I haven’t seen in 10+ years. But I know that if ever needed anything I could pick up the phone and give them a call.

So to my girls who are currently moms:

India, Danielle, Cat, Kelly, Tasha, Dani, Chaz, Erica, Candyce, Talei and expecting Miracle – I got y’all.

If your kids ever need anything I am always there for them. It doesn’t matter how often we talk or see each other just know I am always there for you and them.

The feeling that I had listening and reading as these women poured over me was amazing and very nostalgic. I can not wait to pass this on.

And to my girls who have not hit motherhood just yet. I got you too. Your children will be my children. As my future children will be your children.

To my beautiful Mother. Thank you. Thank you for friending such amazing women. Thank you for surrounding yourself with women I could look up to and strive to be. Thank you for being my Mom.

So I leave you with some images I am going to cherish. The images I am going to share with my son or daughter one day. The images I will share with my Tribe.

Because this is what friendship and family is all about.

A picture of my Mom and her girls. 3 of these women were at my “luncheon”
The ladies at my backyard birthday party. This is how me and my girls are now at kid birthday parties.
My Parents! Joe & Debbie
So much love from these amazing women. Thank you Ms. Beverly!
I was always right there with my Mom. Didn’t even matter if I was the only kid. I loved being around my moms friends.
Girls lunch!
This is also MY Tribe… Thank You!

P.S. – Men. This is a must for YOU. Speak into our young men. I can’t wait for my husband-to-be to pour into the young men my girls are raising and will raise.