Good morning conglomerates! Happy Mother’s Day! Today I want to take a different approach to today’s memoir. In honor of Mother’s Day, I would like to dedicate it to my mom. I hope that in reading this you will be able to identify the similarities of greatness between our mothers &/or mother figures.
I mentioned my mother in a memoir previously & in Accepting Failure you were able to catch a small glimpse of how much she means to me, the type of impact she has had on my life & how much I have aspired to be just like her. Even as an adult, I take pride in knowing that I am evolving into the woman that makes her proud.
My mother has contributed significantly to my self-love pursuit, even before I knew that loving myself without conditions was a pursuit I would pursue. Despite the personal “complexes” she harbored throughout her life, she ensured I did not carry the same. Despite our differences she thought I was beautiful. My mom is what I believed to be the ideal woman growing up. She is a native of Dominican Republic with light-skin, manageable hair, a small figure & a tone of voice to die for. My mom is an achiever. She is driven & really just all around amazing. I wanted to be JUST LIKE HER.
In a world that taught me to loathe my brown skin & despise my unruly hair, my mom was a strong advocate who reminded me to love the skin I was in, to love the hair I was given, & to love the person I was becoming. She reminded me endlessly that these characteristics, together, made me who I am; they made me uniquely divine. The type of devotion she put into loving me is unsurpassed. Even as I try to endlessly love into myself how she loved into me, I reflect with affection the sacrifices she has made for me.
See, my mother is a single mother whose SOUL priority was to provide for me on a physical & emotional level. We were poor, but I did not know it. Though there were financial hardships we were rich by other means. In her love & sacrifices, I never wanted for a thing. She taught me the value of working hard & being a good person even when I did not want to be. She taught me to be honest (even though at times my honesty goes beyond what she intended it to be) & she taught me to be generous by exemplifying the heart to give even when there is not much to give. My mom allowed me to remain passionate but reminded me the importance of respect. My shortcomings were never beneath her but always an obstacle for us to overcome– together.
Aside from an abundance of christmases & birthdays; the time my mother put into what she believed were little gestures of affection are what stands out most to me. I remember my mother would make her own oils that added radiance to my skin complexion she loved so much. She would take time ensuring that my skin was free from scars or imperfections. The hair I hated, the hair that was so thick, long & would kink up at the first sign of water was taken care of too because she had natural products she created to love into it, to nurture it & to make it more beautiful than she already believed it to be. But what stands out to me most are the HOURS she would put into washing my hair every Sunday. I would cry, I would be exhausted from the fight to tame my wet hair & disappointed that I could not be more like her with the wash & go hair & a lighter skin complexion. I never took into account then how she may have felt after our 10-plus hour ordeal but I can say this with confidence, she never complained because she thought I, her “prieta”, was worth it.
This is a small testament to the kind of person she is. She worked so hard for things she did not have to do for herself. Despite how exhausting or time-consuming the task, she made sure she had the strength to do it for me. She is the reason I feel beautiful now; emotionally & physically. I would even go as far as to say she is the reason why I can write memoirs for you today. She taught me to love a language that came second to her so that I would NEVER have to be ashamed to speak up for myself. She forced me to look up words when I did not know them & taught me to fall in love with reading so my knowledge would never be limited to what appears on the TV screen. As I got older, her sacrifices surely did not go unnoticed instead they came with a larger price tag. It is because of her I have those 5 letters behind my name. The first 4 years of my college career was on her back & even as I pursued higher education guess who allowed me to stay in her house, rent free?! Her only request; make me proud.
So as I sit here, master of criminal justice & master of public administration & maybe one day, Dr. Burgos, I can look myself in the mirror & recognize that I am who I am because of what she poured into me. Which now leads me to the point of this memoir. If you are a child keep in mind that there will be a point in our lives when the roles will switch & we will have to take on caring for our moms. I hope that in having a good mother figure that it has led you to be an example of the kind of person you should be to her when she is less capable. I am not always so patient with mine. But it has nothing to do with the amount of love I have for her. Many times, recently at least, it is because she has & still puts so much love into me she forgets that it is time to love into herself. If you are a mother, I want to empathize, not as a mother, but as a child that you never know what stands out most to your children, the influence you may have on them or what a gesture will mean to them when they are older. But keep in mind that although you have been awarded a very thankless job, the gestures you hardly notice you do for us also speaks volumes to us & molds us to be who we will be. Though it feels your hard work goes unnoticed, you honestly would probably never know what has stood out to us unless you are told. My mom would likely never know unless she reads this memoir & even this does not even begin to scratch the surface. My mom knows I love her but I do not think she understands how, what she believes to be small sacrifices, resonates with me even as an adult. So moms, you will never, ever know the impact you have on your children & you will never understand the magnitude of the gratitude that we have for you. As parents you wish for us to live a happy life & though we may not always understand why you do the things you do; I know for certain, regardless of how you have impacted our lives, our lives will never be the same without you. Happy Mommy’s Day!