This I Believe

Holly-Nicole - Arlington Heights, Illinois
Entered on May 4, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in my mother, the giver of life. My heart sings whenever she’s near and my spirit soars to eternal majesties. I can still feel her heartbeat as if I was trapped in that warm cocoon of life that was her womb. The sound of her voice brings me to new heights and soothes my sorrows. When I think of her I think of strength, sacrifice, and love.

My mother has gone through great deals of sacrifice for her children. She didn’t complete her nurse’s degree in Nigeria so she could have her children be born in America; she wanted the best for us. After we were old enough to fend for ourselves, she could have continued her education, an important part of her life, but she decided to be a mother to her children. I will forever respect her for that.

But one of the things that has imprinted itself in my mind is her strength. My mother is honestly the strongest woman that I have ever known. It pains me to recollect when I really acknowledged her strength, when I was mature enough to recognize it, but I feel it’s necessary.

I think it was a Wednesday; the day had an atmosphere of no real importance. My elder sister, my mother and I had just returned from a month long trip to Nigeria. I think at the time I was 11 going on 12. I was watching TV in my living room when I heard my mom call my name. My brain stuttered a bit; I have never heard my mother say my name like that before. It was as if she was someone dying of thirst crying out to death to come and claim her: I think it was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever heard. Being the little obedient preteen that I was, I scurried upstairs to my mom’s room anyway and paused at the doorway.

All the lights in her bedroom were dimmed and the curtains drawn, giving the room a very eerie glow. My parent’s bed stood in the middle of the room and lying on top of it huddled and staring at the wall, shaking, was my Mother.

When I approached her she calmly told me that she had been fired earlier that day because of our trip back home. I scrambled on the bed and looked into the eyes of a woman that I knew had been broken that day, but something else glimmered behind that: it was strength and determination that almost surprised me. How could someone who had just lost their job and confidence possibly be strong?

It may not have made sense but it definitely opened my eyes to how strong my mother was and still is. I believe in her with every fiber in my body that has the ability to believe. Onyeoma, Mommy, I believe that you will leave this earth with a smiling heart looking back on all that you have accomplished. In this, in you, I believe.