This I Believe

Gisela - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on March 19, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: parenthood
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

My Mother

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.