Basketball Wives of LA, Patrice Curry opens up about who she is as a woman, mother and wife on and off the camera. The native Illinoisan shares with us her spiritual life and dealing with the loss of her mother which prompt her to write “Still Smiling…Short Stories of Children Coping with Death”.
On who she is and her background Patrice says,
“I’m wife to former NBA player Eddy Curry. Mother of our 7 children; though I’ve given birth to 4 of them I love them all the same. I’m a writer, artist, designer, mentor & motivational speaker among other things. On when she’s from Curry says, “My parents came to America in 1978 from Belize City, Belize in Central America with my older sister. I was born a year later. We lived on the North-side of Chicago. I spent all of my school aged years in Evanston”.
On her spiritual life and beginnings she says,
“My parents grew up Catholic and my step mom Christian. So I attended both Catholic and Christian churches growing up. My mom converted to Christianity when I was in high school. So I’ve grown up with God but I never really knew Him until I became an adult and I felt I needed to have a stronger connection with Him. Church helped me know that there is an all powerful God watching and guiding us. I’ve always felt connected to God but it’s taken me some time to be completely sure of the connection and to openly share all I’m learning along the way”.
When asked who is one person in your life that has motivated her or encouraged her to keep going no matter what Curry says,
“Gosh, there are quite a few people honestly. I’ve been blessed to have some angels placed directly in my path most of my life it seems, even when I didn’t realize it in that moment. But I’d have to say my mother. Growing up I watched her push through all of her circumstances that I was so I was so unaware of at the time”.
On her mothers struggles with cultural differences she adds, “Moving to another country. Having an accent and fighting to be taken seriously in America. Wanting to be great but having to make the choice to work and not pursue her dreams. Divorce”.
On the loss of her mother Patrice says, “The toughest fight I witnessed my mom go through was HIV. She contracted it from her boyfriend/fiancé and fought through that illness for as many years as she could. Until she passed in 2001. I found out in 1994 when her ex was dying. I watched her care for him despite what he’d given her and I never understood how or why. I was 14 at the time and felt I was too young to openly question my mom so I never did. But I wish I had because I’d like to have understood her better”,. Patrice continues, “…watching her deal with everything she was going through, still going to work every day to provide for her children and not letting the disease best her gave me strength I never knew I’d need or had on many occasions”.
Patrice on how the passing of her mother helped her persevere she said,
“My mother passing taught me to persevere despite my circumstance. Although losing her was one of if not the toughest thing I’ve had to endure thus far; it certainly prepared me for everything that came after and everything to come”.
On why writing “Still Smiling…Short Stories of Children Coping with Death” was beneficial not only to children reading this but also herself Patrice says,
“My book was written out of my desire to want to help my sister as well as myself and other children and families cope with loss. It was how I learned the right things to do and gave me the strength I needed to push on. I cried my eyes out writing that book. Not even the entire book just Brandi’s story. It was a form of therapy for me for sure. Because it allowed me the opportunity to have a release in a way in which I could use my tragedy to help others. It was for sure a method of coping for me and the fact that I’m about to share it with others is just a blessing. God placed it on my heart and I fought through all of the doubt and did it anyway. Because in all honesty everyone didn’t exactly understand why I wanted to write such a book but I just had to do it. I believe it’s helping others so even if everyone never understands or accepts it I know I did what God wanted me to do. So I’m happy about that”.
On having a supportive spouse and overcoming marriage struggles Patrice Curry says,
“It’s very important to have a supportive spouse. Your spouse is supposed to be your best friend among other things. We’ve had our share of ups and downs and if it had not been for the power of prayer and God in my life I’m sure we wouldn’t still be married today.” Patrice adds, “I entered into my marriage so weak and broken for many different reasons. Things from my childhood, from my past relationships and from the things I was allowing my husband to do to me while I stayed and prayed it would get better. I had to take my power back and understand that whatever was going on was happening because I was allowing it to happen and that I had enough within me to change it. But I first had to change myself. I had to realize my worth, my strength and my power and I learned that it was all linked and tied to Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. So when I changed he had to change as well or watch me leave. We still have lots to overcome individually and as a married couple but we are committed to doing it together. If that changes then we will move accordingly. Everyday isn’t easy but we push through. Marriage has taught me so much. Above all its taught me true forgiveness and for that I’ll always be grateful. Because forgiveness is essential to life and living when God is involved”.
Patrice shares some talents her children have and how she as a mother incorporates all of those ideas into the family she says,
“We have a big family so it’s a whole lot of work catering to their needs individually. But I try my best to minister to my children in every way I can. If I see a talent in them I push them to work on it. My daughters are beautiful singers so I make them work on their voices. I believe they have tremendous power within their voices. Power to change the world and heal a nation. But they are children right now and there is always so much going on at home that they can push their talents to the side to focus on playing. So I often times have to make them relax and just sing. I’m sure they’ll thank me later in life”.
Patrice talks about her sons, “My boys are in this stage where they are too interested in video games. So we force them to turn everything off during the school week and play outside. Work on basketball and football. They are natural athletes but if we allow them to just sit in front of a television all day they sure will”.
Curry adds, “All of our children are different but they are also alike in so many ways. We just try to lift them up even though some days that’s harder than other days”.
On her love of writing and aligning her principles of faith with her children she says,
“I love to write and I want them to have an appreciation for reading so I make them read every evening. It’s my hope that by the time they are in high school they will love to read and I think it’s working. I have this book series idea and I want them to be a part of it so when school is out we will get to work on that”. Patrice says, “I believe the key is to keep them busy and keep God at the front of it all. We go to church together, the kids and I. We have evening bible readings usually every week. Everyone holds their own bibles and they go around and take turns reading and following along. Then we discuss what we’ve read in the efforts to keep them focused on God and their purpose in this world”.
Patrice talks about how she found out one of her children as diagnosed with ADHD and what advice she can give to other parents who are experiencing the same thing.
“I had her screened after 2nd grade because I got tired of her teachers complaining about her hyper activity and lack of attention even though she could answer any question asked of her and she was getting A’s they were tired of her being a distraction to the other kids”she adds,
“I wasn’t surprised I was however in denial. I spent a whole summer trying alternative methods of treatment and then the early part of third grade as well. None of it was working at least not to the liking of her teacher. So I broke down and I do mean broke down and started her on the ADHD meds. We still maintain our daily routines because that helps with the attention and activity. So do natural oil messages, some vitamins, certain hot teas and limiting certain foods. I did research and tried what I could”.
On advice with ADHD Curry says, “I don’t know that I can offer much advice to parents dealing with the same issue because I’m still learning. I’m still trying to figure things out as we cope. Every single day is a bit different on this journey. I’m not any at all a fan of the medication. I pray for the day when God heals my baby so she doesn’t have to take it anymore. Until she’s healed I will continue to use it sparingly and do what I can to help her build up knowing one day she won’t need the meds anymore as she grows. She continues,
“I’ll say don’t give up parents. Don’t give up on your babies and don’t think it’s your fault. Don’t punish yourself or your child as hard as that may be. They don’t desire to be hyper active or do crazy things and they ultimately just want to be loved and accepted”.
On why Patrice Curry decided to join the cast of Basketball Wives of LA she says, “My family moved to LA and I’ve always wanted to be an actress. I’ve never had the time or freedom to pursue that. But I knew BBWLA was an option so when we moved I pursued it. The common denominator between the other women and myself is our men, basketball players. Though we may see each other through different lenses the way I see it is we are all women of men who are in a special field so we should ban together. Somehow women always end up as rivals and that group of women that shouldn’t be messed with never quite works out that way”. On advice for anyone who wants to be apart of media Curry says, “My advice for anyone wanting to break into the media world is stay prayed up. Know yourself well enough to know your limits as well as your limitations”.
On what her message is and how she plans on using her platform for the future Patrice says,
“My message is your circumstances only define you when you let them. I choose to push through what I’m going through even if I sometimes want to curl up into a ball and give up. I’m a child of God and as a believer I know I’m supposed to share what I’m learning to help others learn too. So that’s what I do”. She adds, “In the future I see myself acting a bit, producing some amazing TV shows and movies, writing some of everything, with my artwork some of everywhere and my designs on some of everybody. I have high hopes but I serve the most high God so I should”.
Lastly, on her favorite scripture Patrice says, “My favorite scripture is, that’s a little tough. The 23 Psalm was my mother’s favorite”.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
Psalms 23:1-6 KJV”
I want to give a special thank so Patrice Curry for taking the time out of her busy schedule to share a apart of her life with all of us in hopes that this word will touch someone.