Many years ago I had the privilege and pleasure to read a book called the "Color of Water" by James McBride. James is a musician, author, & screenwriter. He is also the 8th of 12 children. All were raised in Brooklyn's Red Hook housing project by their Jewish immigrant mother from Poland. Her name was Rachel Shilsky, later she changed her name to Ruth McBride.
The "Color of Water" spent a little over 2 years on the New York Times bestsellers list. His bestseller is a gripping description of how it was to grow up in a large, poor, & black family that was lead by a white, religious, and strict Jewish mother. Their mother's father was an Orthodox rabbi, but later became a devout Christian after her first marriage to Andrew McBride...a black man.
The title of the book was taken from a response that James' mother gave him when he ask; "what color is God?" Her reply was simple...He is "the color of water".
Ruth McBride was an amazing women and mother. All TWELVE of her children went on to college and graduated. Three of the children are doctors, two are teachers (one in special education), one is a chemistry professor, one became a medical office manger (the most difficult job of all...dealing with doctors all day is no small chore), and one became a University Chairman in Afro-American History. James graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in music composition and earned a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University.
Like I said, Ruth McBride was an amazing woman. Funny (not really...sad more like it) how most people know more about Tiger Wood's 6th mistress and Brittney Spears than they do Ruth McBride.
I often wondered how she could have possibly send "12" children to college. Yesterday I gained a better understanding. My 18 year old son, Austin received a letter from Denison University outlining the details of his full scholarship starting in the fall of 2010 (Denison is over $48,000 a year to attend...Austin actually received $42,000 in scholarship monies)). When my son's mother (Tracey) called to share the information with me I told her that I needed to get off the phone.
I couldn't compose myself...I started crying.
I was sitting in my car, at a gas station, crying.
I then realized it is mothers like Tracey and Ruth McBride, who put their children first every single day, that make things like a college education possible. They raise them during the best of times and the worst of times. They get up and show up every single day...never giving in to giving up. Being a single father is tough, but it doesn't scratch the surface of what a single mother has to endure.
Congratulations son...you are amazing. Thank you Tracey...you are awesome.
I love you both...
sbb 25.3.10 (Hallelujah . k.d. lang) . 506