Monthly Archives: September 2012

Climb On, Emmanuel

“Stories allow us to imagine and live momentarily the lives of others.  And thereafter set a different course and perspective for the life we seek to live.”                                                                                                                                Emmanuel Manirakiza

I hesitated to post this because it makes everything I write seem silly in comparison. But it is a story that must be told.

Through the generosity of the Morehead-Cain Scholars Program, my second son, Andrew, was able to work at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa this past summer.  While there he met Emmanuel Manirakiza.

This is Emmanuel’s story.

Another ALA student, Andrew, and Emmanuel Manirakiza.

Emmanuel Manirakiza: Uphill Climb

Originally written and posted by Andrew Powell at APatALA on May 31, 2012

I have a new friend, and his name is Emmanuel Reed Manirakiza. Last week, I was fortunate enough to hear a bit of his life story, as he spoke in front of African Leadership Academy. A small, smiling boy from Rwanda stood before a group of 200, but for ten minutes, the room felt almost empty, as if Emmanuel and I were the only two there.

I did not know a group of 17-19 year olds could pay such reverence and respect to one of their peers. Continue reading

Football Moms

 

Football Moms Rock.  I should know, as I have been a football mom for 4 sons over the course of 11 seasons. One year, at my peak, I attended 48 football games.

My younger sons started playing in early elementary school. Walking into those games, dressed in football pants and t-shirts, the boys labored to carry the bulky shoulder pads and helmet. Once, I offered to help John carry his pads.  I got what I can only describe as a look of disdain coming from that little tan face.  Disdain, not directed at me, but at the idea that a football player wouldn’t carry his own gear. Somehow he knew that was just not right.

Unfortunately, the idea that mom would be the one to wash the football pants and wrestle to replace the knee pads was not similarly offensive.

Through the years, my boys learned a lot about being men from football.  I learned a lot about being a mom to boys. Continue reading

On Knuckleballs and Marriage

 

Cy Young Award winner and knuckleball pitching ace R. A. Dickey has opened up about exposure to alcoholism, sexual abuse, and infidelity that affected his life. He speaks hope to those who struggle to be authentic.

 

Every detail of even a simple wedding is painstakingly planned and executed. Attire, flowers, and music are selected with care.  Grown men and women practice walking in and out, under the watchful eye of the wedding director. There is no room for spontaneity or surprise.

Unless, of course, you happen to be me, and just as vows are to be exchanged a 240-pound groomsman locks his knees and crashes to the floor in a dead faint.

Though I was not pleased at the time, that event was probably the best part of the whole ceremony.  Continue reading

9/11 Before and After

It is 2001.  Everything is in order in the Powell household.  There are 4 little boys ages 10, 8, 7, and 5.   Daddy works and Mom stays home, homeschooling the boys, teaching them the catechism, tending the vegetable garden, and living a quiet life centered around church and family.  All is safe and secure.

Mom is washing the breakfast dishes and the boys turn on the TV to catch the last bit of Blue’s Clues before lessons begin.

Fox News comes on.  Momma, why is there smoke coming out of the building?  Continue reading

A Notable Classmate

Row 2 Far Right Guess Who!

Recently in “Miss Molly Goes to Harvard” I told the story of my first day at Harvard Law School, a simple God-fearing, Auburn football-loving sorority girl entering a new world. I failed to mention one notable classmate.  Here is a clue . . . while I call my blog In-House Counsel she could start a blog and call it In-the-White-House-Counsel.

Yes, Michelle Robinson Obama was in my Harvard Law Class of 1988. Above and below are our yearbook pictures from our third year. (Her also notable husband came along a year or so after we left.)

I do wish I had fun stories to share of days spent debating politics Continue reading

Miss Molly Goes to Harvard

Not your average first day of school story from not your average Harvard Law student 

It is the fall of 1985, and I have arrived at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Other students enter the dorm carrying duffel bags and milk crates.  I have matched luggage, a U-Haul trailer, and two parents in tow. We unload, creating for me a nest of familiar things.

I miss Mr. Joe – the wizened African-American man who worked for my family for many years doing yard work and odd jobs.  He had always helped me move in and out of college dorms at Auburn.  One year he told my mom ”I do believe that Miss Molly is moving out more than she moved in.” I don’t think I would have ever lived it down if Mr. Joe had helped me move in at Harvard.

My parents start the 24-hour drive back to sweet home Alabama, Continue reading