Voice of the People Author, Speaker/Host, Entrepreneur and Humanitarian, Kendal Richardson shares a tribute to his parents Matt and Dorothy Richardson in the Spring 2022 issue of Life in the Overflow Magazine
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Dorothy Richardson is a woman, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, an aunt, a great aunt, a friend, a wife, a grandmother, a community member, but most importantly she is a mother and to the world she is all these things but to me she is my mom. She is a mother who loves me unconditionally, yet I know there were many days that unconditional love was evaluated.
She is the one who taught me to pray and the one that introduced me to Jesus and the Holy Ghost. I once received a whipping for being afraid of the Holy Ghost. I promise you; I can say that’s the only whipping I felt had validity and with purpose. When I grew older, I became hungry for the Holy Ghost. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. When HE presented Himself to me there was no fear in me to reject Him from coming to live in my heart.
My mom never forced religion on me or pushed me to go to church. The times I went I saw the power of God for myself even though I had no understanding nor able to put it into words. She allowed me the freedom to choose to go to church service even when she did not go. She would take me and pick me up.
When I was young, I was plagued with pneumonia or double ear infections and my mom would be there with me to always nurse me back to health, even well into my adulthood that has never changed. I never missed a meal unless I was ill. I never lacked clothing although my parents didn’t believe in brand name when it came down to quantity and budgeting. Example, one school year my mom gave me an option to buy one pair, Guess Jeans, which was $90, or I could buy 3-4 pairs of Wrangler Jeans. She allowed me to decide, and I chose the Guess Jeans because that was what was popular. The day after I wore them realization sat in and I couldn’t wear the same jeans again the next day or any day that week. If I had bought the Wrangler Jeans, I could have worn the jeans all week along with the old ones that would have been ideal.
My mom was never hard on me in schooling and grades. I don’t recall her ever asking me for my report card or anything. I can only think of two things, one she left up to my dad or she thought I could pass in school. It wasn’t that I wasn’t smart, I was very mischievous.
There were times that I thought my mom was unfair, many times I was angry, many times I was hurt by things I felt parents aren’t supposed to say or do but she always quickly let me know she was the mom and I was the child and that I would never be the adult, nor would she tower from that position to appease my tantrums. My mom pushed me in learning to do things on my own. She used to say, “Stop asking people for things or doing anything for you, that God gave you a brain, use it” Just think about this if you didn’t have me or your father how would you make it? Several days were no, several days was “go” ask your dad, or several days with no response when I needed something. If I kept asking for a broomstick, fork or whatever she could find to pick up or throw, would find me and I would have to find a place of safety. (LOL)
My mom loves to laugh, loves and cares for many human beings, and if I have learned anything from her is to be independent and use the mind God gave you and if I must sum my mother up in one word, that word would be BLESSED.
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. (Proverbs 13:22)
Matt Richardson is a man, a son, a brother, a cousin, an uncle, a great uncle, a handyman, a mechanic, a community member, a grandfather but most importantly a father and to the world he is all these things but to me he is my dad.
Let me be honest, I thought my dad was one of the meanest persons on earth. Discipline was his first, middle and last name. His disciplinary measures created a fear, later in life I realized that he was demanding respect and his authority as a father.
My dad has always been a provider first to my mom and then me. He was a workhorse. I have never seen him not working and when he was off, he was always doing something to keep himself busy. I never saw him quit, when he started a project, he would finish it. I never saw him laid off or fired. I saw him have the same job all my life and that’s him being an airplane mechanic.
I did not realize how smart my dad was and had to be, because he was responsible for thousands of human lives every day, he worked. The knowledge of making sure the plane is running properly was on his shoulders. I did not understand the level of stress he had to endure and the fact he is a Black man that was mostly a Caucasian run industry. I saw him receive awards. I saw how his gift made room for him. “A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men (Proverbs 18:16). It was a time when the Washington Redskins used to request for him to travel with them as the mechanic when they had out of town games. When there was plane trouble in other cities, they would call him to go fix the problem, even international travel.
If that wasn’t enough, he also had a part time job and he was a coach for basketball. He taught me instead of wasting time and you’re not doing anything, make money. He advised me that, “Having your own money, you don’t have to ask anyone for anything and you can get up anytime you feel like it and buy whatever you want and when you want.
Early in life he taught me how to swim, he pushed me to practice in any sport I wanted to do. He taught me that I must work harder in order if I want to be just as good as someone else or better but never allow another person to put you as you are lower than them.
My dad was hard on me to finish school, not just finish school but don’t come home failing any classes, that he had no understanding. No going to school to socialize or fight, get the education. I didn’t agree with much of his disciplinary measures, but they kept me alive and out of more trouble I could have been in. Most of my decisions were based on when I got home, what would he say or do. Many things he said to me growing up, I didn’t understand nor wanted to hear but I needed that wisdom, especially becoming an adult and so much more now in my 40’s. One of the most important lessons was that ‘if you get in trouble out in the world, I can’t help you because other people will control your life, but as long as you're in the house and you're doing what’s right in the world, I have control over that’.
I am thankful for my dad and truth be told; without God and Matt Richardson I would not be the man who I am today. My dad instilled wisdom in me beyond my years that have taken root and coming out each year I grow spiritually and grow older.
Exodus 20:12 “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee
I was born into the world day one rejected. Day one with the odds against me and led me down the path to an identity crisis. I didn’t even find out until I was an adult that I was adopted. I don’t think anyone understands or understood the way that this situation made me feel. At that point in my life, I felt like my entire life wasn’t my life and it was a complete lie. For years, I questioned God. It was something my dad said that changed my life, “Kendal, just be glad that you were born.” That sat with me for many years, yet I didn’t understand, and it has grown on me in my mind and spirit.
What I did understand was that God gave me two parents and He gave them one. One child in my eyes caused heartaches and pain for my parents. I didn’t understand me, who I was, why I was living, any of those things nor why so many things were placed on me or my life, but God knew. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith, the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
God had plans for my life that my parents didn’t know and the older I get and growing in the spirit the more I can’t fault them for what they didn’t know, understand, did or didn’t do. I can’t fault them for the way they raised me. That they loved me past evil doings. To be honest, I know that no one else can have done a better job. The grace that God gave them was supernatural.
God gave them an advocate, a writer, a radio show host, a CEO of a business and non-profit, an award-winning author, a director, a screenwriter, a producer, a humanitarian and most importantly, Voice of The People. Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
To all that’s reading this, to parents, my advice is not to keep secrets, especially secrets that will hurt people for generations to come. Tell the family the truth. You don’t understand the ramifications of your lies and the damage you bring to other human beings.
To every young child, or those who once were children, respect your parents and forgive them for what they don’t know what they do. They’ve done the best they knew how and always didn’t get right. Make amends with your parents and ask God to soften your heart towards your parents in repentance and forgiveness. In this you will be better and not bitter.
Kendal Richardson, Voice of the People
NEW BOOK COMING SOON co-authored by Kendal Richardson