I believe in religion, hard work, equality, and even picking on my sister until she stomps off, heads to her room, and slams the door (at which point I burst with laughter and proceed to follow her). I also believe in laughter and the precious look on my dog’s face every time he begs for a bite of my food. These beliefs are all important to me, but there is one particular conviction that pulls me out of my bed every morning: love. Love comes in many forms. There is the love between friends, partners, families, etc. As wonderful as all of these types of love are, there is one form that indisputably exceeds all others; that is the love of a mother.
My mother is a beautiful, independent woman. For the past seven years, she has raised my sister and me with little help from my father. She has managed to supply us with everything we needed and more solely from her own paycheck. The simple thought of the accomplishments she has achieved without any of the conveniences or higher education I will have astonishes me. It is hard for me as her daughter to model myself after such a person. I have found it extremely difficult to be as strong-willed and determined as she has always been. Unfortunately, this realization never occurred to me until recently.
I began thinking back on the past few years. The most influential time in my life was my parents’ divorce. As it is in most situations, the divorce was extremely ugly. Being the oldest at 12 years old, I was the only child who fully understood what was happening at the time; my sister was only seven. The fighting was nearly impossible to bear. Our mother tried to avoid making these scenes when we were around, but our father did not seem to care. It came to a point where he was using me as a verbal outlet for his frustration. He insisted on using every vulgar term he could muster to inform me of how terrible my mother was. In his attempt to force me to hate my mother, he only made me despise him more.
After the divorce, we moved closer to the post office where Mom worked. This was a major transition for me, as well as my sister. We had lived in the same house and attended the schools in that area since we could remember. We were forced to move out of our homes to a foreign town and make new friends. Mom understood the difficulties we faced when we switched schools, so she made sure to keep us occupied at all times. All of our homework was to be done along with our chores. When we were not working, we were both required to be in some type of extracurricular activity. I strongly believe this made our adjustment much easier.
While this serious, strong woman is who I admire the most, it is her goofy personality that makes her who she is. My mom and I have spent endless hours laughing so hard we could hardly breathe. One of our favorite past times is “people-watching” at the mall. People do the weirdest things when they do not realize others are watching. We love to walk around and make fun of everyone we find to be entertaining. As I laugh at her comments, I start to think about how mean we sound, but when I mention this to Mom, she never fails to respond with the statement, “They can’t hear us.” To me, this is the funniest thing a mother could ever say to her child. What average mother commends their child for making fun of their peers?
We also enjoy eating dinner at nice restaurants while pestering the waiter or waitress. Male waiters are much more fun to pick on than females. Mom loves to accuse me of flirting and usually continues this joke for the rest of the evening. In case it was not apparent, we are quite the team of comedians. We love to pick out everyone’s flaws, including our own, and exploit them to their highest degree.
My mother has become my best friend and confidant. I know I can tell her anything without judgment, and gain the advice I need to make it through. I believe she sees me in the same light. She knows that I understand things that most people could not. I have witnessed the terrible fights, sometimes even hiding in my closet in an attempt to disassociate myself from the situation. I have watched her struggle mentally, emotionally, and financially through the past few years. The most remarkable part of this in my eyes was that she never let her troubles step in the way of her children. No matter what, we always came first.
This undeniable love is what keeps me going. I wake up every morning excited to see the people I love; the people who I know will always be with me. So far, I have found that the greatest feeling in life is to know that someone is there when I need them the most. No matter what issues lay ahead of me, I will never be without a shoulder to cry on or someone to lift me up when I’m down. I will have someone to share my laughs as well as my heartache. With this concept in mind, I realize that I will never want for anything.
A famous Scottish novelist, James M. Barrie, once said, “If you have love you do not need to have anything else. If you do not have it, it does not matter much what else you do have.” I know this is true. I could have everything in the world, but without my mom and the rest of my loved ones in my life, I do not believe that life would be worth living. This feeling embraces me every day and continually pulls me out of bed. This is what I believe. I believe in love.