Although we were raised with strong Christian values, our family worshipped from three different religious perspectives. Mother’s missionary work was under the Pentecostal faith. Nearly every church she attended had “The Church of Jesus Christ” tagged to its name. Many times, Mom received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. Dad became a member of the Methodist religion and attended the United Methodist Church down on Martin Luther King Drive in Chicago. The Second Baptist Church on 150th Street in Harvey was where one of my cousins played the organ and piano, so for my brothers and sisters, along with other relatives, this neighborhood church was the one.
My mother, Esther Lee, was a retired coach cleaner for the Pennsylvania Railroad in Chicago. She was a Southern woman who spoke in a soft, passive tone. Mom was somewhat submissive in her marital relationship. Esther Lee, in her stockinged feet, stood five foot seven; her lower legs were curvy and hairy. The hair on her head was charcoal black, real wavy, thick, and hung down her back. It was always parted down the middle, combed to the back, and twisted into a bun roll. Sometimes she’d use just a little water to keep the edges slick.
It was against Mom’s religion to wear pants, so she wore long Christian-style dresses that hid those gorgeous legs. Even as teenagers, those churchgoing traits were instilled in us. It didn’t matter how old we were — in Mom’s house, everyone went to church.
“Sunday is the Lord’s Day, and we must worship him. Everyone get up and get ready, now,” Mom would tell us.
Every Sunday, off to church we went.
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