An Open Letter to my Mama on her 57th birthday


Listen and Read along 

For most of my life I have dreaded mother’s day or any holiday or birthday that reminded me of my mother. I honestly didn’t believe my mother loved me. Too many times my mother had chosen men over me and my sister, that I thought loving my mother was a lost cause. 

Too much trauma had occurred from being Gwen’s daughter and yet I never wanted to be anybody else’s baby. 


I look back on the fifty seven years of my mother’s life and I am glad to have known her in this lifetime. 

She is the stratosphere for me on what it means to be a bold, ambitious and audacious Black woman.  

From the beginning my Mama, Gwendolyn Denise Mack had a vision for my life.

It started with my name. Dominique. Like, Dominique Deveraux, Diahann Carroll’s Dynasty character, she knew she wanted me to be, “Beautiful, Smart and Rich.” 

And even though recovering from addiction to crack and men and finding esteem of herself. She  knew she didn’t have the capabilities, so she gave me to the people who did. She gave me a godmother, grandparents and a community of people who did. I never knew what it was like not to be loved because she gave me to so many people that loved me. But, all I ever wanted was for her to show me. For a long time, I didn’t know that was her way. 

In May of 2019, my mama got intentional about her life. She called me up on the phone and told me she was moving to Brunswick and that she would never again choose anything or anyone over her children. And that has been a promise she kept. Last year, for the first time in my thirty years of living I had a mother who was nurturing and kind and who could see and hear me. We have modeled for each other, how to love ourselves and each other better. She apologizes. She listens. We communicate and we set boundaries with each other. 

She has taught me so much about life. From how to finesse any situation. To how to make every dollar and dime stretch to get what you want. How to get from the projects to your own house and land. How to apply the perfect red lipstick. How to season your food. How to party like you are the only one in the room. How to forgive. How to love. How to keep living.

Mama, I want to affirm this for you. It’s inevitable, you will f–k up again. But, you will never ever go back on the promise you made to yourself. You can and will conquer anything you set your mind and heart to do. Some of that sh-t you worried about is no longer your cross to bear. Guilt and shame are useless emotions. Love is a practice and you are learning to use your spiritual muscle on yourself first, your partner will come. Your partner has always been you. Never stop showing up for yourself. You are enough all by yourself.

I see you girl. 

I love you. 

Your baby girl. 


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