The Greenleaf star, Merle Dandridge, revealed that her mother who survived two wars and lost two children, is her hero as she posted a picture of her on Twitter on May 8, 2016. 

Dandridge’s Mother Is Her Real-Life Hero

The actress took to Twitter to share a beautiful photo taken outdoor of her arms wrapped around her Asian mother. Dandridge wore a black coat paired with denim pants and a grayish-bluish beanie and held sunglasses in her hands. Her mom flaunted a warm cheetah printed shawl with a black fur neckline paired with a black pair of pants. Also, her mom wore light pink-colored glasses and a neck chain.

In the caption, the actress wrote that her mother learned English in nursing school. One fan commented if she would like to be a mother someday. The comment read, “She’s beautiful. Do you want to be a mother yourself?”

Similarly, on Mother’s Day in April 2020, the 45-year-old wrote a letter as an ode to her mom. The letter is part of a special “Thank you, mom” series highlighting gratitude and love from celebrities on Mother’s Day. In the letter titled, “Every time I get knocked down, I get back up because of you,” Dandridge asked several questions on how she handled and carried herself with such pride and courage. 

The artist began the letter by saying that if her mom, as an 8-year-old girl, could navigate losing her family and home back in Korea, she can handle anything.

“What did it take on the night Korea split, and your father was dragged off ... what did it take as an eight-year-old to walk away from your burning home and alone into a war?” she expressed.

In the letter, she asked her mother what it took to carry her infant son to the hospital, lose him and then walk out empty-handed? She asked her mom what it took to settle in an entirely unfamiliar country without knowing the language after four children. Dandridge raised questions to her mom regarding the silent battles she fought alone on losing two children. 

The Flight Attendant actress revealed her mom had protected her from racial discrimination and bullying throughout her life. Dandridge asked her mother what motivated her to protect, defend and encourage her mixed racial child in a white homogeneous Middle-American town. “What did it take to hug her and tell her she was beautiful every time she got dirt thrown at her? She added.

As the letter progressed, the gorgeous diva opened up that her life’s greatest gift was watching her mother walk with courage and enthusiasm every day. She talked about how the lady could still dance and sing at the top of her lungs and hold the magic that makes all the deer in the neighborhood come out at dusk and wait to nuzzle her goodnight.

"One of the great gifts and privileges of my life is watching you walk with courage and enthusiasm every day."

At the end of the letter, Dandridge lets her mom know she learned to hold her head up to the sun, feel its rays lovingly graze her, and dance with abandon all from her mother. She plants things just to love and take care of them, watch them blossom beautifully, and love her back. The actress declared that she still gets up every time she gets knocked down, which she learned from her mother.

Mom, I want you to know that I hold my head up to the sun and feel its rays lovingly graze me, I still dance with abandon, I still plant things just to love them and watch them love me back with a beautiful blossom… and I still get up every single time I get knocked down. And I learned it all from you.

Dandridge Belongs to a Mixed Ethnicity

The Chicago Fire star was born on May 31, 1975, in Okinawa, Japan. Although she is American by nationality, Dandridge belongs to a mixed (Japanese, Korean, African-American) ethnicity.

While her mom is of Japanese and Korean descent, her father was an Afro-American from Memphis, Tennessee, who served in the US Air Force. She and her parents moved from Japan to the US because of her father’s job. They lived at Beale Air Force Base in California before settling at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska, where Dandridge spent most of her childhood.