Having a complete family is all I ever dreamed of. Yet throughout all the years, somehow, my mom embodied everything I needed in a father and much more.
It was my mother who told me to be strong when I was having a hard time making friends back in grade school. I used to beg her to go with me school just so I could have someone to eat lunch with. Being surrounded by grown-ups my whole life, interacting with people my age was hard for me; yet she wiped all my tears and reminded me that things would always get better, I just needed to keep my head up.
My mother taught me to always fight for what I believe in and to never back down. To posses the spirit of a true fighter, just like her. When bullies called me names and made me feel terrible about myself, she defended me. She told me to be strong because one day I’d eventually have to be strong without her. She said that I needed to learn how to stand on my own two feet and that all these trials I was experiencing were going to build character. So I became strong, I learned that I could overcome just about anything.
My mother showed me success should never be flaunted and nothing worth having ever comes without hard work. Not once did she ever brag to me about her position, nor did she ever believe in buying expensive things that didn’t serve any purpose. She consistently reminded me that money did’t grow on trees. My only supporter, she shouldered all the expenses in our family, paying for my tuition, all my school supplies, allowance and providing me with everything I need. Things I could never repay her for.
My mother revealed to me the secrets of being a good person, mainly the ability to say sorry. Sorry to all those you’ve hurt and the acceptance of your mistakes. We say sorry because we mean it, or else it’s not worth anything. We say sorry because we take responsibility for our actions and we learn to grow from the forgiveness that others give us. That is the lesson she blessed me with.
My mother motivated me by listening when I talked about all my hopes and dreams: my future restaurants, my future coffee shop, my future museum, my creative director dreams etc. We would go on long car rides and talk for hours, or chat even when we were stuck in traffic, just laughing over the silliest things. I would always ask her for advice and she gave it freely. I have never been more comfortable with anyone.
My mother listened to all my problems without any judgement (or hesitation to give her two sense). She showed me what it really means to be a good person, who respects others no matter their position in life: waiters, security guards, shop keepers etc. because they all deserve our respect as people. She taught me that no matter what age you are, learning never stops. That every single day we live our lives we grow in maturity. We learn to be more considerate towards others; we try and understand those who hurt us and how to be a decent human being.
The relationship between my mother and I has always been an open one, where I can always be myself. But the most important lesson my mother taught me is to love others with all my heart without needing anything in return. The way she loves me every single day.
She held my hand at night when I couldn’t sleep because of the horror movies I watched on the computer. She cared for me enough to nag me every single day for simple things like eating my vitamins, or to send me text messages on the latest current events, always reminding me to be safe and take care of myself. She patiently picked me up from late committee meetings even though she was tired coming from work because she knew that I enjoyed what I was doing and she fully supported it. Thank you, Mom. And thank you to all the moms out there.
Thank you for all the things you’ve done and continue to do every single day. For all the times you put your children first and brought home your favorite food, even though you wanted the last bite. For staying up with us, listening attentively to all our problems or when we just needed to vent . For all the times your hugs felt like home. But most importantly, thank you for being you. Because one thing is for sure, we would not be the people we are today, without you. We love you.