Reminiscings of the Heart: First Date with my First Love

The anticipation hung in the air that evening. We breathed it in and felt giddy as we finished getting dressed for our date.

I wore a fancy dress, tights and shiny Mary Jane shoes. White gloves too, for the very first time! 

My date and I were preparing to go to a concert. I was joyfully excited about it, even though I had no clear idea of what to expect. I'd never been to a concert before. I was only six years old. 

Ray Charles was performing in our smallish town on that unforgettable night in 1969. It was a very big deal! Ray Charles!

Mama wanted me to experience the magic with her. She understood that we might not have another opportunity like it again.

It was a rare for Mom to indulge in special events like that. She was a single woman with two young children, struggling to make ends meet.

Honestly, I don't remember much about the performance.
I have foggy bits and pieces in my memory bank: holding Mama's hand as we hurried from the parking lot to the huge auditorium, the click, click, click of her heels on the concrete, entertaining myself with the concert program during the show because I got bored...

I wasn't old enough to be star-struck by Ray Charles, but I was enamored with my mother. I felt like a princess that night; Mom was the Queen. That's the part that stands out clearly in my mind to this day.

When I recall my first dance with my first love, it's like watching a movie scene in my mind. That date was at home, just me and Mom. I was about five.

She had Diana Ross and the Supremes Greatest Hits album. She placed it on the turntable.
"Baby Love, my Baby Love, I need you, oh how I need you..."
"STOP! In the name of love! Before you break my heart!" (You must dramatically put up your stop sign hand, or it's just not the same.)

I see a young version of my mother, resembling Elizabeth Taylor, holding my little hands as we danced together.
We're smiling. I hear us giggling and singing with the Motown divas.

The room ripples with soulful rhythm.
I feel the warmth of nurturing love, the joy of silliness and the freedom of expressing the music with my body.

Dancing comes naturally to toddlers and young children- they don't need to be taught. But how sweet it is to know that the woman who helped me take my first steps also encouraged the gift of dancing in me!

My mother died in 1998. Some people assume that I feel sad when I speak or write of our times together. I don't.

I spent several years grieving and healing from her loss. It was probably the most profound experience of my life.

It's rare for me to feel pain about that now, even during the moments when I miss her. I might shed a few tears of raw emotion, but not sadness.

You see, it's because of the closeness we shared that I'm now filled with gratitude instead of grief!

Those earliest dates with Mama sparked an appreciation in me for soul music. It has always been my absolute favorite genre.

In fact, when I was about twelve, this little white girl was convinced that she'd be a dancer on Soul Train! Well, that didn't work out.

Earth, Wind and Fire's well-known hit "September" describes my feelings about Mom quite well. These lyrics are especially fitting: "Say do you remember, dancing in September?" and "My thoughts are with you, holding hands with your heart to see you, only blue talk and love, remember how we knew love was here to stay."

My first love held my hand during our first dance and on our first date. We continued to hold on through the years, even through the conflicts and dark days. Now she's holding hands with my heart and she will never let go.


  1. Those Where Beautiful Memories Of Your Mom With You That You Wrote About Very Special & Touching. Thanks For Sharing Your Heart. She's Always In There With You And Very Proud Of That Little Girl And That Woman You Are Now.

  2. Beautiful memories.....Mothers truly hold a special place in our hearts.....

  3. Nice memories of your Mom! It's amazing that you recall the little things- like the click click click of her heels and the way she held your hands when she danced with you. As we are parents now- It makes me think about how many of the little things our kids can recall about us? Randy

    1. I appreciate you reading it and sharing your thoughts, Randy.

  4. I remember mom putting her Elvis album and dancing with us in the living room while we were cleaning house.

    1. Hi Keeisha!,
      Thanks much for reading my story. I love your sweet memory of dancing with your mom too.


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