I am her oldest child, and maybe for that reason, we have an especially close bond. She has five children. When I was born she said that she couldn’t believe that I was hers- that a black haired, olive complexioned little girl was hers. She thought that I was going to be a red headed little boy. Imagine her surprise when I came out the complete opposite. She conveys so much love when she tells the story. I have no children of my own, but it helps me to understand the miracle of life, the miracle of love, and the unbreakable bonds of family. I feel the love that she has for me in her every action.
My mom is one of the most beautiful, caring, and loving people I have ever known. Her love shines through her beautiful eyes. She has always listened to me with respect and understanding. She has always acknowledged any wisdom that I might find and has encouraged me always to seek and find the truth in everything. With every hobby, interest, project or crazy idea I’ve had, she’s encouraged me fully. She’s instilled in me the belief that I can do anything and everything I truly want to do.
My mom is the person who taught me how to have fun. She tells me the story of the first time she took me to a park. I just looked at the playground and had no idea what to do. So literally, she taught me to play. She taught me to laugh and be goofy. My mom is loud and unafraid to be herself. She laughs from her soul and truly enjoys and encourages humor, laughter, and the fun in day to day life.
My sister and I are very close in age. When we were still young enough to take baths together, we were playing and having fun in the tub when suddenly, my mom decided to join. She jumped in the bath fully clothed! My sister and I thought it was the greatest thing ever- OUR MOM- so crazy, fully clothed playing in the bathtub with us!
Mom taught us Chinese fire drills, endless random songs and how to lighten up the mood when needed. She’s been known to pop in her “Billy Bob teeth” in public, and just go with it. They are the ugliest teeth I have ever seen. She’ll ask for a straw in a restaurant because, “it’s hard to drink with her teeth the way they are. Her proper investment is the gold capped one right up there front.” She’s a natural comedian with a very unique way of getting people to laugh and have fun.
Both of my parents always made our home a haven when I was growing up. My mom was a huge part of that. They had five children within 10 years and our house was always a place where we could hang out. Our friends were as diverse as diverse can be and my parents didn’t make any of them feel judged or uncomfortable for being unique. Hippies, skaters, straight edgers, goths, punks, geeks, cowgirls/boys, jocks, and more – of all IQ’s, shapes, and races came and went from our house. Mom always has a way of connecting with each person and making them feel loved and accepted for exactly who they are. Almost every friend I had, at on point or another, commented on how much they liked our home or my parents. I credit my parents with teaching me to take a little bit of home with me wherever I go. I credit them both with my ability to see the good and fun and happiness that can come from appreciating and exploring diversity.
Mom is sensitive and thoughtful and sweet and caring. Throughout my years of growing up, she always put the needs of her family, and especially her children first. She would stay up all night to help finish school projects. Bake cookies or brownies for a class or an entire grade of children. She would drive across the valley so that I could spend time with friends when I went to school with kids from everywhere. Her giving- even now- is endless and free, with no expectations of receiving something in return.
When I was a teenager, we had a family tradition of having a family over for dinner every Sunday night. My parents always thoughtfully considered who to have for company and always allowed us kids to have friends over if we wanted. My mom is a true chef. She spent 30 years of her life cooking and baking professionally. She knows how to make a great meal, and she knows the work that goes into preparing it. She sacrificed many Sunday afternoons so that we could have some of the best family experiences I remember.
Sunday dinners were a time of story sharing and getting to know other families from different backgrounds, and different places. I truly felt a spirit of peace and love at home on these Sundays. I knew that everyone else could feel it too. Conversation was natural, laughter came easily and the meal is what brought us all together. These were nights that I will always carry with me. They are the nights when everything felt right. I knew I was participating in something rare, priceless, and uncommon. Our home was a little piece of heaven on earth, and everyone there contributed. Everyone was listened to. Everyone had a valuable place and importance.
My mom works hard every day with the intent to do her best in every endeavor she takes on. In recent years she has embarked on a journey of personal revolution. One to rediscover herself, her happiness, and her values. She has had to do it alone. She’s stayed true to her children. She’s been through a lot, but the lesson she teaches now is one of perseverance and strength. I’ve been through a personal revolution of my own, and I see the incredible power in standing on your own.
Now that I’m an adult, she is one of my best friends. She feels right along with me, and I with her. She is my greatest ally. She does things for me that no one else can do. When there’s something weighing on my mind and stressing me out and I just can’t handle it, she takes care of it, and my worries are gone. She’s a constant support in my life and I know she would do anything for me. The love we share is unconditional.
My Momma is part of who I am. She has taught me and my siblings through her own examples and love. On this Mother’s Day, I wish her happiness, the strength to rediscover those things she is in search of, and the knowledge that she has brought happiness to the lives of everyone she knows.
Thank you Mom! I love you.