On Monday, rapper and business mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs gave his mama the gift of lifetime. In a video posted to his Instagram stories captioned “set the tone”, Diddy’s million dollar gift –coupled with a brand new bentley– drew shock and surprise from mom Janice Combs.
— OfficialGTHH (@OfficialGTHH) December 22, 2020
Black Twitter of course took to the mogul’s gesture stating everything from:
— jorjiothoughts? (@jorjiothoughts) December 22, 2020
Me looking for the routing and account number pic.twitter.com/uJbMqTTRBk
— ♛ JAY B. WYLIN (@jaywylin) December 22, 2020
— Ra Prescott (@radarprescott) December 22, 2020
But the beauty of this story lay not in the extravagance of the gift in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic that has many wondering how they are even going to pay rent next month. Rather it’s understanding Ms. Janice and her little “Puff’s” origin story.
According to a speech Diddy gave back in 2018 for VH1’s Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms, Janice raised him and his sister Keisha by herself after her husband Melvin “Earl” Combs was killed when Diddy was only 2. She did this while working four jobs to make sure they had everything they needed and never went without. I wouldn’t even be surprised if she sacrificed quite a few birthdays herself to make sure her kids were straight.
Diddy followed in his mother’s footsteps by working just as hard (and making some questionable business moves) to get to the position now where he is able to afford to splurge on his mother the way he did Monday night.
Their story is not an unfamiliar one. Many of our heroes who have reached previously unattainable heights, were raised by single parents including Lebron James and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. I myself was raised by a single mother, and I swear on everything I love, if my mother were still alive when I hit it big, I’d probably do the same. In the words of Tupac: “there’s no way I could pay you back, but my plan is to show you that I understand and you are appreciated.”
Diddy’s gift expresses the things many of us wish we could give to our mothers. As you get older and become a parent yourself, you see how hard it was for them to do what they did for you. With 6 children of his own, there’s a very good chance he grasps exactly how extraordinary it was that she was able to raise him and his sister, keep them level-headed and give them the tools to be successful as adults later on in life; all while holding down as many jobs as she did. While I am not a single parent, I understood my mother much better with each child I had, and thankfully was able to at least tell her how much I appreciated her before she passed in 2019.
That million dollar gift wasn’t just a flex–even though it may feel like that to the rest of us. As cliche as it may sound, it truly set the tone for this Christmas season. How can we find the best way to appreciate the people around us and show them just how much they mean to us during this season? I know social distancing and this pandemic are making it more difficult to do that in person (a fact that seemed to be ignored at Ms. Janice’s birthday party. SERIOUSLY PEOPLE, WEAR A MASK!), but finding creative ways to tell people you appreciate their presence in your life, while the world crumbles around us, is more important than ever.
So while you may not be able to pull a Diddy splurge on mom just yet, I hope you are able to share that love and appreciation you have for your family in a safe–and socially-distanced– way this holiday season.
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