TV personality and actor Terrence J. (nee Jenkins) has written his first book, The Wealth of My Mother’s Wisdom, expressing his gratitude to his mother Lisa for the encouragement and guidance she’s given him over the years. Terrence also pulls in friend Trey Songz to share lessons and advice from his own mother.
Here, the E! News co-anchor shares seven tidbits we didn’t know about him in relation to his mom.
1. I was born into welfare. But I watched my mom build a business without going to college; without doing a lot of the things she wanted to do because she made sacrifices for me.
2. I’ve never tried to get in touch with my biological father [Terrence was raised by his stepfather]. Something about him not wanting to be around kinda put an edge on my shoulder. And I don’t mean that in a negative way. It just always gave me the perspective that if somebody didn’t want to be in my life, then it wasn’t worth the time. Obviously I didn’t need him. I had the strength of my mother.
3. My mom never talked ill of my biological father. Once I was old enough to realize that I didn’t know anything about him, she told me that she would tell me whatever I wanted to know.
4. My mom and I never had a birds and bees talk. I had to figure that out on my own.
5. The first thing I did with my first major paycheck was pay off my mom’s house in North Carolina. And I gave her new floors.
6. My favorite childhood memory of my mom is when we moved from New York to Rocky Mountain, North Carolina. We used to live in Queens, New York during the height of the crack epidemic. A guy who got shot on our block, drug dealers moved in. My mom made the decision to move us down to North Carolina. She didn’t even have a job when she moved down but she was like, ‘I’ve got to get you out of this city.’ I just remember how focused, strong and confident she was.
7. Though we’re extremely close, I don’t consider myself a “mama’s boy.” I moved out so young that we didn’t have that relationship. We’re better friends now.
The Wealth of My Mother’s Wisdom is out now.