Today is my mother’s birthday and I just wanted to take a moment and express how much she means to me. I can honestly say that I would not be alive today if it wasn’t for my mom. Growing up I had a difficult time in school fitting in. I was painfully shy and I wasn’t allowed to wear pants because of our religion which basically made me an easy target for bullies. She instilled in me the courage to be myself and not conform in the face of adversity. Regardless of how worthless others tried to make me believe I was she was always there for moral support, a shoulder to cry on, sage advice, or just an attentive listener.
She sacrificed her life to ensure that my siblings and I had the best chance at succeeding in life. Even though she was a teacher, she managed to attend every play, award presentations, games, etc. Not to mention juggling all of our extracurricular activities without very showing an ounce of disdain. She didn’t hang out with friends or have girl’s night. There was no break because we were her life. Her selflessness taught me what it means to truly love someone and how devoted she was to being the best mother she could be to her children. Now that she’s retired I’m so thankful that she gets some much-needed and deserved “me time” to do whatever she pleases.
I respect her for always being honest with me. Some women have tumultuous relationships with their moms, but I thank God every day that my mom has always been my best friend. Anytime I ask for advice she gives me her undivided attention and tells me what I need to hear in a tactful way. Most people would tell me what I want to hear because I’m sensitive and they’d be afraid of hurting my feelings; not my mom. I appreciate her giving it to me straight because ultimately you’ll never learn or evolve as a person if you only have yes people in your life. No matter what issue I came to her with I never felt judged. She understands my need to vent and is the only one that can decipher what I’m saying if I’m crying profusely. At the end of the day, I know that she has my best interest at heart and only wants what’s best for me.
Her strength and faith during difficult times never ceases to amaze me. She’s had countless surgeries, accidents, and health scares that would make the average person fall apart. For example, the whole world stops when I’m sick. I’m basically rendered helpless. My personal motto is that I have a zero tolerance for physical pain. Case in point, when I had my wisdom teeth taken out in high school I was out for 2 weeks. I have never felt pain that excruciating in my entire life. My face was super swollen, it hurt to breath because you felt all the muscles in your mouth throbbing, and I couldn’t talk so I had to write everything down on a notepad. My mom was nice enough to sleep with me the first couple of days because I felt like I was dying and she nursed me back to health. However, she handled every illness thrown at her with such grace and poise. Not once did she ever complain or ask God why me. She just held strong to her belief that “if he brought me to it, he’ll bring me through it.” It’s tough watching your parents get older and seeing their bodies start to decline. Seeing her in pain was gut wrenching and I was an emotional wreck at times. However, her confidence and perseverance made it a little easier to deal with because I know she knows God is able and as she always says things could be a whole lot worse.
As a speech therapist, she helped several children improve their communication skills, but more importantly as my mom she helped me find my voice. I embrace anything that allows me to utilize my creativity, so as a kid I was constantly drawing or writing short stories. When I was contemplating not take honors English in high school, my mom convinced me to not take the easy way out and challenge myself to become a better writer. My senior year I had the English teacher from hell. Every paper I submitted she hated and would constantly ridicule me in front of the class. I have never lost such respect for a teacher. I believe teachers are supposed to help you grow and encourage you not discourage and make you feel like an idiot. When I told my mom I wanted to step down to regular English (because that class was killing my GPA), she told me that’s fine but to not let her hatred define me as a writer. My teacher was just one person that didn’t like my writing and believed I was not smart enough to go to college. Long story short, not only did I graduated from college, but I got “A’s” on every English paper I wrote! Had I listened to my teacher I would have never believed I could succeed in college or writing and this blog probably wouldn’t exist. My mom’s unwavering faith in my potential allowed me to silence the negativity with success.
My mom has never been materialistic, but if I could I’d shower her with everything her heart desires. Until then I’ll just give her something more valuable than “things”, my eternal respect, admiration, love, and a piece of my heart. They say you can’t pick your family, but even if that were possible I’d choose you every time because you’re the best mom anyone could ask for and I’m so happy that you’re mine! Here’s to celebrating your life, the wonderful person you are and all the sacrifices you have made. I love you more than you’ll ever know. Happy Birthday Mom ❤