My Mother’s Birthday (Dedication: to all mothers)

first_imgI stood at the flower shop on Benson Street with a smile on my face. “I need a nice bunch of flowers for my mother and beside the fact that she loves flowers today is her birthday.”  “You lucky man,” the flower seller, a woman in her thirties, said also with a smile. “This bunch of flowers your mother will love.”   I said, “You started this business not too long ago?”    “Yes,” she said, “about two years ago.”   “How well is going for you?”   “Pretty much,” she replied, “I did not realize that people here love flowers.”   “How easy is it to be in such a business?”   She kept the smile in place and swept her head back, rolled her eyes, turned to look at me and said, “As I said I’ve been in this business for the last two years and my patrons have been people who have class, and love and remember how important their parents are in their lives.”  “You get customers from all over the country?”  “Not all over,” she said, sitting down behind the counter, “there are people here who love flowers and want them at various occasions.”  “Quite right,” I said. “I need flowers during an occasion like this when it is that of my mother’s birthday.”   She smiled.   I could not hide my appreciation for the woman’s remarkable interest in her flowers. Besides, I knew she wanted me to buy her product anyhow.  “My family loves flowers,” I told her, “and my mother’s birthday is today. Can you send the flowers to my mother’s residence?”  “Yes,” she said, and her sweet smile raced across my face.  “I want you to send the flowers to my mother.” “Where does your mother live?” “Tubmanburg,” I said, “the address is easy to find.”  Still keeping her smile in place, she said, “I know Tubmanburg, a small town. I have a business contact in there and we can deliver your purchase to her.”  “It’s about eight fifteen,” I glanced at my wristwatch.   She said, “Yes, the flowers can be delivered at 2p.m today. She will be contacted on her cell-phone once the flowers are in Tubmanburg.”   “That’s wonderful,” I said.   While the discussion went on, I noticed a young boy with a blue shirt and in black trousers standing further away from me, watching me. I became curious when I saw that he had tears in his eyes. I could not figure out what was happening to him and was inclined to find out.   So when I concluded the arrangement for the flowers to be sent to my mother, I walked to the boy and inquired from him the reason for the tears.  “Today is my mother’s birthday,” he said, “and the woman,” he pointed his right hand to the woman in the Flower Shop, “said the flowers cost L$1,000.00. And I’m just seven.   “She would not accept my twenty dollars.” I looked directly in his face, with personal sympathy and told him, “Ok, friend, no need to shed tears I can help you with this.”    I took him to the flower shop.  “Give this boy the flowers he needs for his mother,” I told the woman, “and I’m going to pay for it.”   She said, “Yeah, he’s been here the last couple of minutes but I told him the money he has could not purchase any bunch of flowers.  “But since you said so, ok I will let him have what he wants.”  The boy looked at me with a grin, and lowered his heard, lifting his right hand to wipe away tears that had formed there.  Few minutes later, the woman handed the little boy a bunch of neatly organized flowers. As soon as the boy received them, he began to run to the opposite direction without even saying a word to me. I regarded him with some further curiosity and smiled, remembering when I was at his age.   Several seconds later, I felt someone tucking at my clothes, and when I turned around, it was the same boy.  “’Thank you, mister,” he said, with a smile, “thanks for the flowers.” I nodded in anticipation, saying, “No problem, son, have a nice day.”  He smiled and ran off. I could not understand the little boy’s interest in flower and that the day was her mother’s birthday got me thinking about my mother. I could also not get it clear about the boy’s love for flowers for his mother. To my knowledge, it was not common for kids to show an exceptional interest in their parent’s birthdays. It was a thought I could not get out of my mind. But in these days of Ebola virus disease that had resulted into many deaths, I could agree that even a child could show gratitude towards his mother. Times were changing, I thought. Meanwhile, I felt a sense of admiration for the little boy and I wished I had known him a little better to know the kind of mother he had. In any case, he was gone and that was it.  The Monrovia weather was getting hotter, now that we were in the dry season. In the wake of the declining Ebola infections people’s confidence was creeping back to their lives. The sun was early and hitting gradually hard and many people were surprised at its early appearance.  Thirty minutes later, I made my way towards Slipway, just across from the Gabriel Tucker Bridge. The hot weather was losing its power due to the Mesurado River’s proximity to my location. The river flowed silently into the Atlantic Ocean. The sudden change of weather gave me some courage that nature had its own way of bringing reassurance that all was not lost. I began to think about nature’s provision for our existence and wondered how wonderful things, particularly happen to bring changes in the environment for our own good.   I was in such deep thought when I was suddenly attracted to the location where a small figure sat before an old cemetery that I thought had been abandoned many years ago.  What also got me interested was the blue shirt, for it was clear that it was the little boy I had encountered nearly thirty minutes ago. The boy knelt before what seemed me to be a recently constructed grave in an old cemetery. The boy sat beside a fresh bunch of flowers inserted in front that particular grave.  “What’s he doing there?” I said to myself. My curiosity got the better me and therefore I chose to find out what he was doing alone beside the grave. I descended the steps leading to the cemetery and strolled towards him. Closer, scattered graves came in view and I realized that the most recent graves could be any of the people who might died but not really from the Ebola virus disease; meaning from other natural causes and were interred there. But for a seven-year-old boy to be here alone was a mystery that pricked my attention, particularly so since I had encountered him sometime earlier.  The echoes of my footsteps drew the boy’s attention. He turned around slowly, and realizing who it was, said, “This is where mother lives,” as he pointed to the grave he sat behind, “and she is very grateful for the wonderful flowers.”  Suddenly, a lump jumped in my throat, as I was overwhelmed with emotion. I could not get over the demonstration of gratitude and love that this little boy had shown by example to celebrate his dead mother’s birthday.  Without saying a word, I began to walk away from him, and my destination was of course to the flower shop. I arrived at the shop few minutes later and met with the beautiful lady who had assisted me earlier. “Have you sent the flowers?” “Not yet,” she said, “they are about to leave the office.”  “I will take them with me,” I said, “so that I can personally deliver them to my mother.”   She wanted to know why the sudden change of mind, but I was not prepared to go into it. I felt some guilt about it somehow, especially when I compared it with the little boy’s life lesson that I had just received. The little man taught me a great deal about a child’s love for his mother even if she was no more alive. Some questions began to come to my mind: how many of those whose parents are living really appreciate them? There are some friends that I know who care little about their parents, and I realized that the little boy’s instructive lesson would leave a large mark on my person and I would not be the same again, that was for sure.  I then had some fill of excitement that I never experienced before in my life. I held the bouquet flowers neatly wrapped and held it close to me. I began to think about the days gone by when all my attention was to my mother as hers had been on me when I was a little boy. I knew I could not keep this story away from her, because by the afternoon, I would be with my mother as she would celebrate her birthday.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Line Up and Line Dance for Lupus

first_imgIn recognition of May Lupus Awareness Month, Marva’s Grand Hands of Love, Inc. will host “A Line Dance for Lupus Party” to raise funds to fight lupus and to help amplify the voice of the lupus community, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., May 18, at Diamondz Events Hall, 9980 Liberty Road in Randallstown, Md. Local radio personality and line dance instructor Randy Dennis will teach supporters new line dance moves and call out traditional line dances. “Not only will supporters benefit a wonderful cause, but they also benefit themselves because line dancing is a healthy and fun way to get in some exercise,” said Marva Williams, event organizer. Proceeds support the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) DC-Maryland-Virginia Chapter. A LFA representative will be present to accept the donation. LFA estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have the autoimmune disease. “I recently lost a 27 year old cousin to complications from lupus and my best friend has it. I’m determined to help the women, men and children living with lupus,” Williams said. Catering will be provided by Chef Mookie Hicks. Tanya’s Bling Tees has created a custom lupus awareness t-shirt for the event. Informational materials will be available. Tickets are $30 in advance. For more information, contact Marva Williams at 410-599-9159.last_img read more

HQ Trivias EmmysThemed Game Will Give 100000 Prize to One Winner

first_imgHQ Trivia is trying to horn in on TV’s biggest night: The live game-show app will stage a special Emmys-themed show next Monday, Sept. 17, during the Emmy Awards — with a $100,000 cash prize going to a single winner.Launched in August 2017, HQ Trivia has amassed a fanbase of millions (and numerous copycat competitors) with the promise of letting users win real money.In a normal game, the winning HQ Trivia players split the cash prize, sometimes ending up with just a few dollars each. But for the app’s Emmy Awards Night game, sponsored by Target, it will be a winner-takes-all format for the $100,000 pool. That would be its biggest payout to a single player to date.There’s another difference: For the Emmys game, host Scott Rogowsky will keep asking questions until only a single winner is left standing. Users will be able to use extra “lives” (letting them stay in the game after they’ve answered a question incorrectly) but only until question 15. The regular HQ Trivia games comprise 12 trivia questions, giving users just 10 seconds to tap the right multiple-choice answer. Popular on Variety HQ Trivia’s Emmys game is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET on Sept. 17 — right in the middle of the awards telecast. NBC will broadcast the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards live on Sept. 17, starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. According to HQ Trivia, its Emmys-themed event could include questions about TV shows, actors, and historical facts about the Emmy Awards and the telecast.The special edition of the trivia game comes as HQ Trivia’s momentum has waned. In July 2018, users downloaded the HQ Trivia app an estimated 560,000 times, down from over 2 million in February, according to research firm Sensor Tower. Last month, HQ Trivia launched an app for Apple TV to expand beyond mobile phones.HQ Trivia’s parent company, New York-based Intermedia Labs, was co-founded by Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll. They’re two of the creators of Vine, which Twitter acquired in 2012 and then shut down four years later.HQ Trivia runs its regular games weekdays at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET, and on the weekends at 9 p.m. ET. Questions are crafted created by a team of writers, researchers and fact-checkers, and the trivia gets harder as the game progresses.center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more