A letter about Hamburgers
I know I don’t tell you this enough so here goes. Hamburgers.
Mother, I miss you cooking hamburgers. It’s cliché for people to tell stories about mom taking care of their needs at home. All that is true and more. Let me tell you why “hamburgers” is important to me.
In high school you made hamburgers before every basketball game. When I finished eating you’d look at me and say in your Jamaican accent, “Now dat you done you can play and no let anybody box you round pon di court.” I knew exactly what you meant. Clear your mind and do what you do best.
Clear your mind and do what you do best.
Basketball brought me all over the United States. Playing in front of thousands of friends, family, fans, scouts, and naysayers was challenging to say the least. You made me believe in myself before doubts ever crept in.
You made me believe in myself before doubts ever crept in.
Before my first pre-game basketball meal in college, everything was off. You were twelve hours away but some how you still had a way getting your message through to me. Earlier that week you sent me a card in the mail. I followed your instructions and opened the letter right before the game. Inside you described how you made me hamburgers before high school games and I played well. I needed to keep playing well even though I didn’t have your hamburgers to eat.
Years later there’s no mystery I ate a hamburger the day Jackie was born. I was a new father and I thought I was supposed to have all the answers. You looked at me from across the table and said, “Stop acting like you don’t know what to do. Look at your father. Be a father.”
Your words aren’t always fancy or eloquent. They get to the meat of the matter. Words come out from you simple and plain like a hamburger. And mother, that is why I say to you, hamburger.
Your Youngest Son
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Other Letters in the Letter to My Mom Series