When my sisters and I were younger, every year on Mother’s Day we used to wake up early so we could draw pictures with crayons on construction paper for my mom. Our Dad would help us to make eggs benny and coffee and we’d bring it to her in bed. We were so excited to surprise her and we’d jump on the bed to wake her up, although she’d most likely already been up for hours before us.
She doesn’t even like eggs. We didn’t know that. The three of us were focused on the incredible food we got to eat after. Back then, we didn’t exactly comprehend what mothers day was all about, besides the fact that it’s the day Mom gets to “relax” for once. Ironically, she always ended up doing the dishes after. But that’s because she likes to, right? She had a certain way of keeping the kitchen and we wouldn’t dare want to mess it up! Yeah… we definitely used that excuse for many years after.
The best thing about my Mom is that she is always willing to go the extra mile to help people. Whether they were relatives, teachers, other parents, or even strangers, witnessing her eagerness to lend a hand taught me to do the same for others. I now have my own way of showing up for people, but it was her perpetual compassion that influenced this within me.
She was always there to help her daughters too. Especially me. If I hadn’t eaten or if I was too lazy to do my laundry before work or forgot to get something I really needed at the store, she’d take care of it. She and I both knew that if she didn’t do these basic things for me, I wouldn’t do them. I’d be hungry all day at work, my laundry would pile up, and I’d never have my makeup wipes! I took all of these things for granted and grew to expect them. She spoiled me. Living on my own, without her, was quite the adjustment. Luckily, I slowly began to realize how much random knowledge about cooking and cleaning I had due to years of observation.
When I am having a bad day, my mom is always available to talk about things, but that’s not usually how we deal with complications. We discuss our issues in a practical sense, but usually deeper emotions are uncomfortable for us to dive into. Instead, she will run to the store and pick up some ingredients to make one of my favorite meals. Then we will either watch Law and Order SVU or a “chic flick” that Dad would never sit through. I will forever cherish these memories of comfort food and critical analysis.
Our mother’s perseverance despite difficult circumstances has given us all the motivation to keep pushing.“
My mom passed down many things to me including her love for reading and writing. She introduced me to NaNoWriMo, which inspired me to let the words flow out of my brain and to never stop typing. I’ve tweaked my writing process a little since then, but for the most part, it’s not that different. Throughout my entire life I knew that at any moment I could look over and she’d be reading. I wanted to be like her, but I never had the razor sharp focus she has. To this day I still wish I could get on her reading level. I’m not there yet, and surely I’ll never catch up.
Fortunately, her immeasurable literacy trickled down to me in different ways. I have her quick wit, sarcasm and snark, and introspection. These are no doubt my favorites because they are unmistakably her. Last but not least, an impeccable combination of beauty, grace and admirable strength. I don’t know if she believes she has any of those things, but my sisters and I are certain that we had a fierce role model to look up to. Our mother’s perseverance despite difficult circumstances has given us all the motivation to keep pushing. For all of these qualities within me, I owe thanks to her. I’m so proud of these characteristics, and I wouldn’t be me without them.
I never thought about her unrelenting efforts to keep everything together, I only thought about getting my way.“
Being a mom to us three girls was no easy task. I can’t imagine that being a mom to anyone is a walk in the park, but there were three of us! And we were each so uniquely difficult. There were many factors I didn’t know to consider when I was younger. For one thing, I now am very aware of the fact that I wouldn’t last a day taking on the responsibilities that my mother did. It disappoints me to think about the memories I have of being angry with her just because she said “no”, and I would scream and pout or slam the door and roll my eyes. Too easily would I forget everything she’d done for me that day, that week, or my entire life. I never thought about her unrelenting efforts to keep everything together, I only thought about getting my way.
Now I have a deeper understanding of what she was going through, and I truly wish I was a better behaved child. As I reflected on the hours she spent with us while our father was at work, I realized that she unconditionally sacrificed everything for us. I want her to know that I did appreciate every single extra thing she did for me, but in each of these moments I failed to fully express that appreciation. At the time, I didn’t know how to. Who knows if I even know now that I’m 26. That’s no excuse but it’s honest. I am lucky to have a fantastic relationship with my mom and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Now that I’m so far away from her, it doesn’t feel like Mother’s Day. I wish I could make her breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. And everything because she deserves so much more than I’ve ever done for her.
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