October 27th: Happy Birthday, Mommy


October 27th is a personal holiday for me.  It’s the day of my mother’s birth.  It’s the day that the cosmos opened up and allowed her spirit into this world.  She has been my axis for so many years until I found my own… and now she is my maypole. I celebrate her daily by wrapping her up in beautiful ribbons as I dance around her and soak in her wisdom.

My mother, Joan Carol Fullmore, was born 73 glorious years ago in Alabama.  The migration as a young child to Nashville shaped her.  Her fondest loving memories are of that time.  I have sipped on her stories of joy and belonging and safety of that time and space where she did her own dance around the flagpole of Black Excellence— black entrepreneurship, church, parochial school (read private bougie girl), Tennessee State campus visits to sit near her parents until they got off work, all peppered with summers with Grandma Sadie and Granddaddy Eugene in Tuskegee, steps away from the giants at Tuskegee Institute.

Her open heart, which expresses itself mostly in caregiving and generosity of self, means, and time (even at the expense of herself), is a staple of her personality.  She is a woman who is in complete devotion to God through her service to others, most notably her children and her 99-years-young mother.  

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“I can’t disappear. I come from a family of beautiful women, strong women – and ‘strong’ defined by being themselves.”

We share 27 as a day of birth.  A divine connection.  She is support like no other, often using her mastery of numbers through numerology.  See, 27 is the universal number of humanity… and honestly, I don’t know a better human.  Even with her flaws, they are like the gold veins in a broken Japanese pottery, healed together by the technique of Kintsugi, whereby they treat breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.  Her heart is an open book.  She can’t hide it and all of the heartbreaks she’s endured have only become scar tissue made of silk.  They compliment the joy in her that feels like the coziest cashmere ready to envelop you, and repair you and make you whole again. 

I am simply trying to convey how her love feels to the touch of the heart, for I have been comforted and adorned with the softest, sweetest, most elegant kind of love all of my life… because she was born.  

This birthday, help me wish for her what she has given to so many others— unbridled love and care! Let’s flood her IG @fullmorejoancarol all Scorpio season, but especially today, her day, October 27th! 

Happy Birthday, Mommy.  

I love you past the moon in another galaxy not discovered by man… For it is the best way to measure how far and wide my love extends to you.

WORDS: Mara Brock Akil
DATE: 10.27.2021
PHOTOS: Jorge Meza + Joan Carol Fullmore Archive


  1. So Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Just realized for some reason I could leave a comment. I am forever grateful for your love and that you still honor me seeking me out. thank you for this article. I love you.

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