When I was eight, I remember my mother putting on make-up, a long leather coat,
and high-heels. With her long black hair, she was the most beautiful woman there was.
My mother Maria had a very hard life. She was the oldest child in a family of twelve; her
father walked out of them and she had the responsibility of being not a sister, but a
second mother to those 12 children. She worked as a secretary for a law firm and met my
father there. They fell in love and dated for two years. My mother’s responsibilities
from home took away time from their relationship. So, my father met another woman
and walked out on my mother when she was expecting me.
In the 70’s in Mexico people discriminated against women who had children out
of wedlock. For eight years, neighbors and relatives called her names and humiliated her.
Tired of the humiliation and the burden of her brothers and sisters, she decided she
wanted a better life for both of us. So, she sacrificed her family and career and we moved
to the United States.
Many people ask me if it was hard leaving my life behind, but I never felt lonely
or unhappy because my mother was always beside me. Even with the hard labor jobs in
production factories and getting paid minimum wage, she always came home with a
smile and full of energy to play and spend time with me.
After a short time, she met a good man through church and married him. Their
marriage has never been a passionate love but a comfortable and secure relationship. Her
objective was to give me father-figure and that is something she fulfilled. His patience
and loving words have helped me make some of the hardest decisions of my life.
My mother has taught my children that money does not buy love. Time and
patience is love. Saturday and Sunday afternoons are board games, flash cards, and a
DVD with root-beer floats. She never cares if dishes are piled in the sink or that laundry
has not been washed; her main chore is entertaining the children.
I never knew as a child how much pain my mother had experienced, until now.
Not once did I ever see her cry of feel depressed about something. Love and happiness
were all I saw. Time has aged her hands, face, but not her spirit. Looking at her in the
morning before I go to work, I still see her as that beautiful woman I saw when I was
eight years old. I believe time and patience is love.
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