Carla Y. Nix

Walking In My Purpose

‘Fore Day In The Morning

Posted by hashiki on November 26, 2008

Do you know what ‘fore day in the morning is?  It simply means BEFORE day break.  My mother used to say that term quite often.

  • “Why are y’all up ‘fore day in the morning?”
  • “We’re leaving ‘fore day in the morning.”
  • “Quiet as ‘fore day in the morning.”

I was cooking my Gumbo in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner, and thought of my mother as I cooked down the okra.  Mama used to say:

“Boy, I’m gonna beat you ’til you rope like okra!”

That was often a threat to one of my brothers that if they didn’t stop whatever mischievious thing they were doing, they were about to get their butts “whupped!” (And yes, it was said to my brothers – I never got a spanking – I always listened!) 

Anyway, back to the okra.  As I grew up and began cooking myself, especially Okra Gumbo, I learned what she meant about “roping”.  Okra ropes, or gets very slimy, and you have to know how to cook it just right to get the slime out of it.  That meant that my brothers were cutting up terribly if they were in danger of having their butts roped like okra!

Of course Mama would never have done that, but I can guarantee you that my brothers thought she would and they soon straightened up!

“You better sit on your fist and rear back on your wrist!”

Well, I wasn’t always quite sure about that one, but I did come to learn that Mama meant that sometimes you just have to make do with what you have.  You might not have a chair, but you have to know how to do what you need to do when you need to do it.  No chair?  Well, you have a fist and a wrist!

To me:  “Don’t focus on marrying the doctor!  You can BECOME that doctor!”

When I was growing up, women quite often urged and nudged their daughters to find a man and to find one who was a doctor, or some other image of perceived success.  My Mama always encouraged me to be that which I sought.  She encouraged me to be independent and not to depend on someone else to be to me what I could do and be for myself.  She empowered me to do and be whatever I wanted to be.  She never made me feel that I would be incomplete without a man.  She regularly uplifted me and had me to believe in myself and the power that was within me.  After all, she was my example and role model.  She lived what she taught.

There are many “Laurisms”, or things that Mama used to say.  I regularly and fondly think about her, and her words still ring loud and clear in my mind and heart.  As I am focusing on being grateful and expressing my thanks and gratitude, I cannot help but remember Mama.  I am so thankful that God abundantly blessed my brothers and I by giving us our mother.  I say it often.  If I could be just ONE iota, just one minute fraction of the woman that she was, I would be great!

I am giving thanks for being Laura’s daughter!


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