This weekend, as we celebrate motherhood, I thank God for my wonderful grandmothers, mother, and the mother of my boys, my wife Donna. So today, it is only fitting that I write about my grandmothers who, in spite of extreme hardships and limitations, always had money!
My father’s mother was a seamstress with a sixth grade education. Just after she had her sixth child, her husband suffered a stroke and became confined to a wheelchair. She faced great difficulties, but when she passed at 80 years old, she owned three houses and all were completely free of mortgage debt.
My mother’s mother was a domestic worker – she did housework for wealthy families. Her husband was an alcoholic, but she too owned her house. Whenever one of my cousins or I needed money, my grandmother always had cash to assist us. There were no ATM machines in those days but if we asked Grandma for a few dollars, she would pull out a white handkerchief, (I won’t say from where), and give it us. If we need more, Grandma would produce her bigger bills from another stash. Again, I won’t say from where!
I’m amazed that both of my grandmothers did so much with so little income! They knew how to handle money and of course, neither felt the need to buy new clothes every time the style changed; they did not buy things at the supermarket that they did not need; and neither of them had credit cards. They both gave money to the church regularly and they owned their own homes.
I decided that if my grandmothers could accomplish what they did with the challenges they faced, then shame on me if I could not do at least as well as they did. I did not want to be like the servant in Matthew 25:14-28 who was chastised because he did not even think to put money in a bank to earn interest.
As you celebrate mothers and motherhood, read Matthew 25:14-28, thank God for the many mothers who do so much with so little, and pray for strength to make prudent financial decisions.
DeForest B. Soaries, Jr.