DALLAS — According to God’s manual, when Jesus said to His disciples: “”A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another,” what He generally insinuated is that such a commandment wasn’t only directed toward the 12 who followed Him daily, but rather it is meant for all of humanity to take heed.
For Shapreta Smith, given the close knit bond she has established with her mother, Shirley Brister, in recent years, it’s safe to assume that she has grasped a thorough understanding of this life-enhancing notion.
For a little more than two decades of Smith’s young life, she and mother admittedly did not have what she described as a “close relationship.”
In fact, as this native of Magnolia, Mississippian tells it, communication between her and her mother was virtually nonexistent.
But after years of soul-searching, self-assessing, and evaluating her ties with her mom, Smith ultimately had come to realization that it was time to officially address what undoubtedly was the grandest barricade of her life.
In a nutshell, Smith, who admittedly “was listening to one side of the story from family members and friends but I never heard her (mother’s) side,” sensed she owed it to herself to amend and bring closer to the distance between her and her mother.
No doubt, she’s delighted she did as she celebrates MemphiSport’s Second Annual Salute To Mother’s Day.
That’s because today, more than ever before, Smith and her mother have put their checkered past where it belongs: behind them.
“After the truth and a clear understanding had been revealed, God gave us the strength to forgive each other and mend what had been broken so many years ago,” Smith said during a recent interview.
Long before Smith and her mother had reestablished their ties, Smith — who currently resides in the Dallas area with her husband, Malcolm Smith — recalled many nights when she dozed off to sleep on what was a pillow drenched in tears.
“Many nights I cried wondering why I had not been chosen to have my real mother by my side,” Smith said. “I wanted what my younger brother and sister had. Over time, I grew a strong resentment towards her and never wanted to be in her presence and the input from family never made that resentment weaken. So many events happened that it is too many to name. When I grew up, I began to see more and more of her in me.”
And because Smith eventually had begun to assume an assortment of her mother’s characteristics, she sensed it was time the woman who gave birth to her 24 years ago ultimately witness those intriguing habits.
Up close and in person.
Before it was all too late.
“One day I called after months of not speaking after a previous disagreement and apologized for the misunderstanding,” said Smith, explaining how she had gone about rekindling her relationship with her mother. “She forgave me and I forgave her and we’ve been rocking ever since. So, no, my tribute isn’t about a memory of being tucked in at night, getting boyfriend advice as a teenager, getting punished for sneaking out, or even spending time together growing up. It is about forgiveness.”
A pivotal life concept that, given the close knit bond she has established with her mother in recent years, Smith has come to grasp and apply to her daily living.
That’s because after a little more than two decades, all is well now.
Mom and daughter are exactly where they supposed to be.
Back together again.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether your mother is living or deceased, if you would like to pay homage to your mom, grandmother, wife, girlfriend, etc., with a unique Mother’s Day tribute that will feature an in-depth story like this one, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson also covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.