“Flora” – My Amazing Mother
My mom. Born: Flora Sylvia Yashinto. If I even attempted to sum up the story of my mom — well, I just couldn’t. Her life truly deserves to be a published biography. But she would never. She is so humble and private. So one word we could use to describe her: Amazing.
Since she won’t let me tell her life story, I can only tell you the Flora that I know of from my own experience. Growing up, my mom and I did not get along for several major reasons. But the BIGGEST reason was that I could not handle her old-fashion island ways combined with her military style discipline. Oh, it was the worst! Especially for me, the guinea pig, the oldest child in the household. Life was fine as a baby – I was the only child, daddy’s little girl, mommie’s little dress-up doll (this is when I started modeling, thanks Mom, lol). Then my younger sister, the baby, everybody’s “Li’l Bit,” was born three years after me – spoiled. But then I became the middle child when one of my [new] Dad’s sons moved in with us in our high school years – he who got away with murder, lol. So I suddenly became THE REBEL! I won’t get into all of that. I mean, I was still a pretty good daughter. I made excellent grades, was in honor and gifted programs, involved with orchestra, marching band, and volleyball. Even stayed away from boys. I had my few best friends and that was all. But the most important thing of all in a teen girl’s life is her mother. And my mom was ALWAYS there for me, no matter what. The thing was just that we didn’t get along. I never talked to her about my personal life – friends, crushes, hobbies, nothing. Our household’s main concern was good report cards during the year and vacation bible school during the summer – no lie. (Fun factoid: We spent our summers doing store-bought work books, learning how to type, etc. My mom is a home school teacher, smh! What fun, right?) …best believe I thanked her later.
[Disclaimer: We had an awesome childhood, don’t get me wrong! Our childhood might have been filled with academics and discipline thanks to our military parents. But we had a ball! My sister and I were forced to develop these wildly creative imaginations since we couldn’t go outside the yard to play with our friends. We spent ALL of our time together – building forts, making-up games, storytelling, doing art, singing, dancing – and all the time we learned to finally get along and love each other to death.]
But I really wish my mom would have been one of those moms I could tell just about anything to. Maybe she could have helped me with my sad, puppy-love heartbreak nights in the 6th grade or helped me deal with drama with girls at school. Instead I filled that void with anything that fit and resented her.
The problem was my mom was too afraid to make mistakes with raising us and wanted to provide us with all the care, love, structure, and protection that she lacked as a child – even if it was too much love and protection for us. But sitting right here at age 23 and looking back on my life, I don’t regret not one butt-whooping, punishment, or even cell phone smash, LOL! She made me who I am today and I want to follow in her footsteps. Now that she and I can understand each other (and I’m not living with them anymore, as a rebel teen), we can most genuinely appreciate each other for who we really are and we have the greatest relationship ever!
You could look at my mom today and NEVER EVER be able to sense whether she lived a rough, tough, near-death life or not… She is doing extremely well — she has her own successful business, she has two intelligent/beautiful daughters, she’s got all the womanly things a girl could want (clothes, bags, jewelry, perfumes, GALORE!) but most of all she finally has a hard working, loving, God-fearing husband now in our lives that she deserves (who I truly can consider my real Dad).
[Sidenote: “Anyone can be someone’s father, but it takes a real man to be a DAD.” Hmm…. One day I’ll post a blog about “My Amazing Dad.”]
I love you: Charles & Flora Broadnax, Justin Broadnax, Jade Stewart. I have several people in my family. But these are the people I grew up with.
MY FAMILY IS MY TREASURE.