I cried last night. We watched the movie Ray. It's about the life of singer Ray Charles (real name was Ray Charles Robinson). He grew up in the segregated south and was raised by a single mother and never knew his dad. He lost his sight around the age of 7. His story held my interest for the entire movie.
Ray Charles owed everything to his mother. She taught him several lessons that got him through life, even though sometimes he stumbled.
1. When you fall down you must pick yourself up and move on. There was a flashback seen to when he had just lost his sight and came running into the house. He lay on the floor calling for his mother. She stopped herself from running over and picking him up. She even seemed to hold her breath so that he wouldn't know she was there. A minute to two went by and young Ray stopped and listened. To his left he heard the tea pot on the stove. He turned the other way and walked toward a fire that was burning some coals. He pulled his hand away from the fire and walked around a wall. He heard a horse go by. You then see him walk over to a cricket that is chirping on the floor. His mother has tears running down her cheeks and he says, "I know you're there, momma. Why are you sad?" She replies, "I'm not sad. I'm happy." Of course, I couldn't hold back the tears either.
2. Don't let people take advantage of you. Another flashback was shown where Aretha Robinson (Ray's mother) confronts a woman she works for. It turns out that the woman was paying a white woman more money than Ray's mother for the same work (laundry). Aretha Robinson told her she won't work for her anymore. It even meant that she might go without for a while, but she knew she had an example to set for her sons.
3. What feels the safest, isn't always what's best for you. This is self-explanatory but I'll explain how it fits regarding the movie. Ray's mother worked with him on several things but there came a point where she couldn't help him anymore. She finally made the choice to send him to Florida to a school for the blind. He was crying and didn't want to leave his momma. This part made me cry, too. I can't imagine what she was going through. At no time did she pity him or tell him it was OK to feel sorry for himself. She made him strong and at one point the older Ray remembers his mother's words--"Nothin's free, but Jesus."
4. Stand up for what is right. Ray Charles was one of the first entertainers to boycott states that had segregated audiences.
5. We all have "baggage" and it shouldn't keep us from doing our best. Ray Charles had his demons but kept on pursuing his love of music. He could have given up many times over, but knew that no one was going to take care of him. He had to make it happen.
Ray Charles wasn't perfect but his life story is fascinating considering what he had to go through. He was a heroin addict until later in his career. He was one of the first people to mix country, gospel and R&B. He was a pioneer in producing music. What is extraordinary is that he did all of this without his sight.
My eye puffiness is finally going away. I definitely recommend this movie.