This Mother’s Day marks the first year I have been without the woman I admire and love the most.
I briefly mentioned this in my L.C. profile, but for those who don’t know, I lost my mom on July 11 of last year. She battled cancer since I was in Pre-K, and the complications that arose from the stage four disease and chemotherapy treatments eventually claimed her life.
That summer I floated in and out of the hospital while commuting to summer school at a nearby college, running errands, and trying to make my mom as comfortable and optimistic as possible. The early morning she passed away is as clear in my memory as it was when it happened.
But instead of dwelling on her death, I want to dedicate this blog entry to honoring her. This woman shaped me into who I am today, even more now that she is gone. I could not have possibly asked for a better mother.
A few reasons why my mom was so amazing:
She was a fantastic gardener with a love for all living things. She could make anything flourish.
After a long day at work, she would lay in bed with me at night, reading everything from a vintage copy of “Bambi” to several paperback Berenstain Bears books she bought for me.
When almost every mom would brag about their “amazing” kids (even if they were actually unspectacular), she remained humble.
On hot summer days, she’d take me to the community pool down the street while reading Ernest Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises or some compilation of short stories. Afterward, she would make the greatest dinners that still give me warm fuzzies.
She taught me how to bake, and had a way of making delicious food from scratch without using the kind of unhealthy/unnatural ingredients South Texan cooking is known for. One of our joint creations:
She was the most loving, selfless person I have known in my entire life. She constantly did without so she could provide the best for her family.
There was not a hateful bone in her body.
Her heart burst with compassion; she spent more than half her life teaching special needs students and never thought twice before helping those less fortunate than herself. She inspires me to make the world a better place.
Though she probably never realized it, it wasn’t my old choir director who taught me how to sing, it was her. I have fond memories of singing Close to You and The End of the World while holding hands during our daily walks. She paid for piano lessons, which also helped me develop my ear.
She was beautiful.
She was practical, resourceful, patient, and a joy to be around — not to mention an incredible seamstress! Any reasonable person who knew her can see why she was so loved.
Even now, she keeps me motivated to succeed. Just when I’m getting discouraged and losing discipline with school and work, I can feel her pushing me forward. She taught me how to multitask and balance priorities.
She accompanied me to every day-long music competition, concert and recital (no matter how boring) during my seven-year choir career — a fact I will always be thankful for.
Even when she was feeling too sick to walk, she somehow found the energy to teach me how to drive, save gas, and safely follow rules of the road.
She and my father worked together to help me establish the morals and values I live my life by. They exposed me to spirituality and love.
She had hands that could heal any pain, and a kiss that could turn away any illness. To put it simply, she was the best.
I love you, mom. You will never leave my heart.