“My grandmama taught me how to live, and my mama taught me how to love”

May 7, 2022

This weekend we take a moment to pay tribute to all mothers. Please know that your love, support, encouragement and words of wisdom leave an indelible impression on those around you. Happy Mother’s Day ❤️

“My grandmama taught me how to live, and my mama taught me how to love,” says David. As he celebrates his first Mother’s Day weekend in his new home, David is remembering the women who raised him. “God instilled my mama and my grandmama. That’s who I really miss in life. A lot of the things I do reflects on them.”  

David recently moved into his own apartment after living at Roof Above’s North Tryon Street shelter for two years. The youngest of 12 siblings, he grew up in a rural area near Lake Lure. His family lived off the land – fishing, hunting, growing vegetables and smoking meats. “My grandmama taught me how to clean, how to sew – how to take care of myself in life,” says David.  

Now that he has a home of his own again, he’s putting some of those skills to use. But it might be the lessons he carries in his heart from his mama that mean the most.  

He saw his mother give selflessly to others. “Anybody came and knocked on her door, she would feed ya,” he recalls. “She said don’t never let nobody go hungry. Break your sandwich in half and give it to them. That’s what type of person my mama was.”  

Sometimes it was just little things like offering someone a cup of coffee. But he still remembers the way she explained generosity to him. “She said, ‘If I can help somebody get through the day, then I’ve done the will of God.’ And that stuck with me. Because we never know when we’ll run across a person who needs a shoulder to lean on.”  

David needed to lean on the shelter for the past two years, and he admits it taught him a needed lesson: humility. “The Men’s Shelter helped me come to grips with life,” he says. “It made me realize that there’s hope even when you don’t see the hope. It’s a place where you can find yourself.”  

“The shelter gave me every resource I needed,” he says. “I hope people out there that want to help will realize that the shelter’s helping a lot of people. If you have any donations, please give them to the shelter.” 

“They put up with me,” he laughs, referring to the shelter staff. “Because I was lost. I was like the Prodigal Son – I didn’t wanna be found. But they showed me love at times and brought me back to my senses.” 

And love is, after all, the most precious thing most of us learn from our mothers. “My mama taught me you can’t make it in life without love,” David smiles.