As I do every Mother’s Day I would like to say a few word about the woman who not only brought me into this world, but pretty much raised me all on her own.
My friends who have met her know her as a kind soul who makes good food, and enjoys making people happy. I know her as a hard working woman who always managed to provide food and shelter for me even through the toughest of times. She barely has a high school education, but she managed to always have a roof over my head, and plenty of food in my belly. Those of you who have seen me know that I am well fed.
Most of all, my mom is my role model. You see no matter how hard my life gets, I can’t complain. When times got tough for my mom, she just pulled up her boot straps and worked hard. She sometimes had two jobs. I would come home from school after basketball practice and find a pan of Chile Colorado on the stove and a note saying that I better get my homework done. If I was lucky I would catch her for few moments in the morning before she changed and went off to her day job. Whatever was the case, she did what she had to do. She never once complained, and she never cursed me for being born. I believe she and my father were not planning to have kids, but here I am.
As I got older, we began to have personality conflicts. For a couple of years after I left home, I was so happy to be gone that I let my relationship with my mom fade. However, once I started t have difficulties living on my own, I began to realize the difficult road my mom was on all those years she had me in her care. It dawned on me that she had tremendous responsibility, and she faced it with courage and strength. I should mention, the woman worked so damn hard that her income just eclipsed the threshold for government assistance, not that she would have ever taken any. When I finally understood the struggles of my mom I began to appreciate the hard work she did so that I could have a normal childhood. Our relationship has been pretty solid since then.
In addition to how bad ass she was, my mom was also very cool. I am sure my brothers and sisters have their own stories to tell about our mother, but this is one of my favorites…
I was maybe eight or nine years old:
The family next door to us was having a birthday party for their daughter. Many of the kids in the apartment complex we lived in were invited. I was in the very small minority of kids who were left out. I was absolutely bummed. I sat at the kitchen table with my head down while next door I could hear Latin music blaring, and kids whooping it up. To top that off just outside the window over our kitchen sink I saw they had a piñata! Man! They were having fun.
My mother came into the kitchen, and saw me sulking and nearly in tears. She came over and put her arm around me and offered me a perspective I did not consider:
“Don’t be sad honey. You know that piñata is just full of beans.”
I was too sad, or maybe too young to laugh at the time. However, the memory has stayed with me. Thanks mom, a little Latino on Latino humor made the clouds go away. I would like to say that the family next door redeemed their good name by inviting me to their son’s birthday a few months later.
Thank you mom for always having my back!
To all of you mothers out there: A Very Happy Mother’s Day !!!