Phyllis Dickerson (AKA Mama D) is Amy’s mom! She’s always there when we need her and she’s the craftiest lady we know! This mother’s day we wanted to recognize her for all she does with this interview, enjoy!
Tell about your first date ever! – How old were you? Who was your date? What did you do?
I was probably 13/14, it was a friend in my summer band class in Junior High. My first memory is each of us walking to the Tennis Courts from different directions during the summer. We played tennis, got a coke and walked home. I lived in a very strict household, so I was probably gone only about 3 hours.
Who were your role models when you were young?
I had several role models: I grew up in a loving family. They all taught me integrity and good work ethics. My father for his determination to be organized – he was an accountant and everything had a place and reason. My mother, grandmother and aunt for their creativity and persistence to never give up. My private music teacher – helped me set goals and then push to accomplish them with honors.
What did/do you love most about your own mother?
Her work ethics determination, creativity, her encouragement. She used to tell me there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do if I set my mind to it and “Can’t never did nothing”!!! To find something good in every experience, even if it was a lesson in life. When she set a goal, she accomplished it in style. She kept at it until it was the best and then she would make it better. She was a competitor for sure but it wasn’t always competing against others – she was her own best opposition. She was a seamstress, cook, teacher, very creative and artistic, and an amazing artist. She was a teacher for special needs adults and would work until she found something creative they could do with their hands to be successful. She had amazing patience with them. The school had a store, so everything the students made was sold and that was even more gratification and encouragement for everyone.
Do you have any regrets?
Of course. I think anyone who is always trying to be their best will be able to look back and think of something they could have done differently or worked harder at. Regrets are easier to admit the older and wiser you get. One of the things for me would be looking back and wishing I had worked harder to better accomplish what I felt was an impossible task.
Where was the most memorable place you ever traveled to?
I am stuck on this one. I have traveled to 90% of the US States and a handful of out of country locations. Nothing comes to mind as more memorable than the other. I find each place I travel unique and different and always find wonderful people everywhere. Some of which have become good friends. I think a most memorable “time”, was right after 911, we had to go to Washington DC for a conference. Most everyone was apprehensive of getting in cabs and on trains, restaurants, etc. A group of us were determined to not let that get to us so we made an extra effort to smile more and greet everyone with kind words. We got such amazing responses of kindness returned, because everyone was fearful of who they met and trusted no one. It made such an effect on me that I have vowed to greet everyone thereafter with a smile and kind words.
What’s the best movie you have ever seen?
It would have to be a musical – music was a big part of my life growing up, my dad was always whistling or humming a song. Anything music is what we watched on TV growing up. I would have to say any of the early Barbara Streisand movies were my favorites. They were packed full of great music, she has a beautiful voice that could tell a story, and there was always a great story line with a message and of course romance.
What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?
-Never wait for tomorrow what you can do today! You truly never know what tomorrow will bring!
-Always be your best. At the end of the day, you should be able to look back and know that you worked to accomplish something new each day and know that you treated others with respect.
What is one thing you have always loved about yourself?
Being creative/seeing the beauty in things that no one else sees. I was an only child with tons of energy and my mother being an accomplished seamstress herself, would teach me. She would buy me all the patterns and material I needed to stay busy and I learned to sew on a treadle machine at the age of 6 or 7. By the age of 8, I was making my own clothes (that I could wear in public. Lol) Designing and making clothes was very easy and gratifying for me so I worked very hard at it. It was something that I could do and entertain myself for hours. And I can still do that today.
What was the best part of being a _Older__ mother? (fill in the blank: single/working/stay at home/young/older)
Surrounding our Mother’s Day theme, I think being a mother is the hardest job I have ever had…or the one I took most seriously. But without saying…also the most rewarding. I have played the roles of all the choices above, but I chose older because I can now look back and see the rewards. I have 3 beautiful (inside and out), loving, caring, hardworking daughters that I am very proud of. I can now share time, friendship, respect and all the wonderful things that was harder when raising children. I love it that they want my advice now and will call and say…Mom, I have a question!! Or they call to brag on their children because my daughters have become wonderful parents! And I look at their accomplishments as people and am very proud of who they are and who they have become and they are not finished yet…they continue to grow and learn and accomplish more every day. They continue to push to strive to be that better person and example/mentor to others. I always want my children/grandchildren to look back and have happy great thoughts and memories about the legacy I leave.
What is your best piece of advice for new moms?
Pay attention to the first 5 years!!! No matter if you are a stay at home mom or a working mom with 3 jobs…the quality time you spend with your children is the most important time in their lives and will strongly guide who they become. Those little eyes are watching you and everyone around them, learning every second. The foundation that you build for your children at this age will carry them through life. The stronger that foundation of love, caring, teaching, mentoring, being a great example for them, will help them work through the good and bad times for the rest of their lives. Of course continuing teaching everything you started the first 5 years, is important too, I still try to be that same example I was to my children which now has expanded to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My example to every person’s life I touch has never changed except to hopefully be a better example every day. I hopefully take everything I have learned in life and encourage others to be the best they can be and avoid making any of the mistakes I made. We have something to learn from everyone whether it be good or bad. Never judge anyone, because there is always a lesson to be learned…not criticized.