My mother was born on a cold February day in 1959. She was the first child of a farm couple from Southern Indiana, and she grew into a gifted and beautiful woman. She graduated Cum Laude from Franklin University in 1981 and went on to 13 years working for newspapers, trying to make a difference.
23 years ago, on a different cold February day, she got what she describes as the greatest birthday present she’s ever received. A 7lb 3oz baby girl. Me.
In the past 23 years, my mother and I have had the same ups and downs as any other mother daughter pair, and then some. You see, my mother loves me a lot. In the words of a close family friend, “Your mother loves you enough to change.”
She has spent many long years doing exactly that. So many, in fact, that she now uses the positive change in her life to try and help others. I am very proud of mom, I always have been. I would not be the woman I am today without her.
Sometimes I think about other people who’s mothers may not have been brave enough to change, or who weren’t present. I think of them growing up, making decisions, and the path they might walk in their lives. The path forks many many times, giving them every opportunity to change, and I wonder if they take it. I hope they do.
I believe in the ability to change and to use yourself to make the world a better place. I believe in being a custodian, cleaning up the world for the next generation. I believe that everyone can change, and I believe that there is always hope. I am not my mother, but I can only hope to use my life in the same way she has. To improve the world around me. To make the world better by first making myself better.
But above all, I believe in a mother’s love.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.