What I know about women: singer Gregory Porter says mom was the glue that kept us together
- Gregory Porter, 48, who lives in California, is an award-winning jazz singer
- Reflecting on her mother’s sacrifices, she says that her life was made of love
- He said he was trying to give his family another money on the last day
Gregory Porter, 48, is an award-winning Grammy jazz singer and artistic curator of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. He lives in California with his wife Victoria and son Demyan.
I am a mother son. Mum, or Miss Ruth as people called her, was a preacher and had a deep concern for children, the elderly and the afflicted. She died over 20 years ago, but the people whose life she touched still come to mind, and this leaves me breathless.
Mom died of breast cancer when I was 21 and, on her last day, I remember telling my sister to take the bag. He was trying to give money to another family so that they could cover the rent. We children were in the hospital room and we said, “You will only think of yourself for a moment.”
Gregory Porter, 48 (pictured) who lives in California, reflected on how his mother influenced his life and the lives of others
At the time we were shocked: he is taking his last breath and here he is looking for his bag. Then, after her death, I thought, “I’m so happy that we didn’t stop her because being loving and giving was her life.”
The sacrifices he made were often sacrifices that the whole family made. He gave me my clothes – I was often quite devastated because he wore my favorite sports shirts. But my mother was quick: she went to your room, took things and gave them away. You could never get too close to something. This is precious to me now.
I remember spending hours preparing a Thanksgiving meal and then bringing it to the homeless first: we ate leftovers. He made mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, corn bread and all went into the truck and went down to the local soup.
I looked at her and wanted to be like her in many ways, and I’m still trying to be like her. I put my mother’s kindness and grace into my music.
My father was not on the scene and it was my strong mother who was the glue that kept us all together, and her biggest dream and desire was for us brothers to help and love each other.
After finding success, I wanted to do that maternal thing to bring my family together, so here I am. I have a huge dining table and on special occasions I make a huge meal for over 100 people.
We huddle around the table and pour into other rooms, bumping into each other saying, “This is in his honor.”