“But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins”
Mitch Albom. For One More Day.
I was sitting on the floor by my grandmother’s chair, listening intently to her words. I asked why she decided to stay at home and raise three children. She replied, “Well as you know, I lost my mother when I was very young. I did not want to miss out on my children’s lives as I knew the loss of not having a mother. I went to work for a little while, but I could not stand the idea of someone else raising my children. So I went back home and decided to take care of my children and get my PhT (putting husband through), so your Poppa could achieve his dreams.” I sat in wonderment how my grandmother’s love and desire to create a tight knit family was formed in the loss of her own. She worked diligently to raise a family that knew the meaning of supporting one another and loving relentlessly, even when miles away. She built a family out of her love, and that love still resonates in all the hearts of her children and grandchildren.
My mother being of the baby boomer generation, worked hard in the rise of the corporate world. Many days after school we would go to my auntie’s house until my parents returned home. But even the long days at work, I saw my mother’s sacrifice. One of my earliest memories was me crying relentlessly, until mom scooped me up and sang sweetly to me, all the while rocking back and forth in the old oak rocking chair. Sacrificing sleep and the promise of a good morning to soothe me. As I grew older, I began to notice more of mom’s sacrifice of putting her children before herself. One year, Mom had gotten us all new socks, even though she had holes in hers. I asked her why she did not get a pair for herself, she replied, “Well, my babies needed new socks and I don’t need new socks anyway”. Perhaps she was being ridiculously frugal, but it revealed to me how even in the smallest of things as a pair of socks, my mother put us kids before ever thinking of herself.
But perhaps the most powerful thing for mothers is the love they have for their children. Their ability to unconditionally love their children even when they make poor choices or are in a rebellious mood. Even when their children give up on themselves, mothers never give up in fighting for them. Motherhood is more than just taking care of children, it is believing in the goodness of the world by building up children that will make a difference.
Motherhood is not always blood related either. I have many aunties, friend’s moms, and even supervisors that took on motherly roles when I needed it most. Strong woman who stand by you even in your worst, are those who make the greatest impact. So thank you mothers. Thank you grandmothers and great-grandmothers for creating a story of sacrifice to build up the world to be a better place. To raise children with unconditional love and for supporting your children even when the foundation of life seems to crumble.
I am forever grateful for the strong woman who made an impact in my life. Especially to my mother and grandmother, who raised me to be a caretaker of others and to love people relentlessly. And one day, I hope to carry that love into raising my own family. For now, I am continually built up on the foundation that you have laid down for me. From loving me at my worst, to supporting me in my best, thank you. From all your children and grandchildren, thank you.