Single mother played double role raising all boys
Bellomy Family Portrait. From Left to Right: Daniel, David, Darius, Cheryl, Chris, Neil and Grandson Aiden.
y father committed suicide at our family home when I was just 5 years old.
Just weeks before that, my maternal grandfather also committed suicide. As anyone could imagine, it was a devastating time for my family. My mother was not only coping with the sudden loss of her husband and father, but she was then left with four sons to raise on her own.
As young boys, between the ages of 2-8, we all responded to the tragedy differently. I was filled with curiosity about my father’s death, one of my younger brothers was constantly crying and my other younger brother was constantly eating.
My mother immediately moved our family into a different house, put us all in private schools for a better education and a stronger relationship with God.
Growing up in my household, there were all sons and a woman who played both the mother and father role. My mother remarried for a short period and gave birth to my youngest brother Darius in 2001.
My mother led our family, nurtured us, provided for us and taught us right from wrong. Failure was never an option in my family. My mom often told us “school is your job.”
Homework and studying were the first priority but she still kept us actively involved with school sports, church groups and plays. My mom also spent plenty of time teaching us the core values of achievement, confidence, faith, caring, and integrity.
My mother’s sacrifice, undying love, and hard work is paying off, as her once five small boys, have now grown and are becoming assets to the business world and the community.
I’m 23 with a degree in engineering from Western Michigan University and will begin officer training for the U.S. Navy in July. My older brother, Cornelius, has a business degree from Olivet Nazarene College in Illinois; my younger brother, David, is a senior in the College of Engineering at Western Michigan University; my brother Daniel, is a junior in the College of Performing Arts at Carnegie Melon University in Pennsylvania and Darius is a 6th grader at St. Peter’s Lutheran where he is on the honor roll.
There are many challenges for black families in the city of Detroit and with the high number of young black men in jail, low graduation rates and even lower college enrollment rates, my mom has certainly defied all the odds.
A lot of people say that it takes a man to make a boy into a man, and to that I say let me introduce you to my mother-father, Cheryl Bellomy. I would like to honor her on this Father’s Day for a job well done.
Love you, Mom!