I am my mother’s daughter.
“I am never going to be like her!” was something I said throughout my life. Growing up in Los Angeles with a single mom was not considered normal. My mom raised four children on her own without any financial help from anyone. She always made sure we sat down to dinner as a family, she was always involved with our school activities. She gave us our special days such as our Birthdays and Christmas. She instilled in me a sense of tradition along with her independence, strength, love and most of all her willingness to survive on her own which I know carry with me throughout my life. From my crazy and rebellious teen yearsto a now it all in my twenties. Now a single mother of two in my thirties she truly prepared me for life’s struggles.
It was a cold December morning when I turned 18. I heard a familiar voice say” happy birthday, What do you want for dinner?” I turned over in bed and said, “spaghetti of course, I don’t know why you ask it never changes.” She laughed as she left my room.
By midday I can see her standing in the kitchen stating to prepare dinner. I peeked my head in an saw the ground beef and Italian sausage starting to brown in the pan as she tossed in chopped onions and herbs. I asked if I can help she said “sure.” We combined all the ingredients into the large sauce pan filled with tomatoes sauce she gave in a few stirs and turned the fire down to low so it can simmer all day long. I tried so hard not to eat because I was waiting for dinner.
It was time to sit down for dinner and it smelled so good my mouth was starting to watering. The table is set with napkins and silverware, the garlic toast is in a basket in the middle of the table, we each have a bowl of ceaser salad and plate of spaghetti. She always made sure that we knew we were loved and felt special on our birthday‘s. She couldn‘t give us much but I knew I had
It was a few months after my birthday when I learned that I was pregnant. It was hard for my mother to take. She always wanted more for me than she had and knew the difficult journey I was about to embark on. There was never any doubt that she felt it was my choice and all my responsibility because that was how she raised me. This journey 18 years and 2 children later she was always the one who was there to support me.
It was the day after my wedding anniversary and I was sitting at my desk, I received a call from the from desk saying I have a delivery, as I went down I was hoping it was flowers with a card saying “ happy anniversary, I am sorry and want to come home.” To my surprise I was served with divorce papers I felt like I was hit by a car. In an instant my life was shattered into a million pieces. I called my mom, barely able to breathe I struggled to get the words out, my heart was beating so hard it was all I could hear. “he left me and filed for divorce.”
I went home that night and tried to explain to my children that it was just going to be the three of us. I never thought I would have to explain to my 2 year old her daddy was not coming home. Even telling them everything would be ok I had no clue if it really would. It broke my heart when they cried and I couldn’t fix it. I cried myself to sleep on too many nights to count. I called my mom crying on countless days and nights, all she had to say was “calm down, you will be fine.” Just the sound of her voice would calm me down. The next year and a half was both physically and emotionally draining, like my mother before me I tried never to show my kids because I was there rock.
As a single mother I am trying to raise my son to be a man by teaching him the things I remember my mother teaching my brothers. I am teaching my daughter to be herself and that she is special and can be anything she wants to be. I now give them there special days, there birthdays like my mother gave me. I know I am strict but fair, I now hear my son say “ I am never going to be like you.” I just laugh inside and think I am doing something right. I, like my mother before me hope and pray they never have to experience the same things I have. As my daughter gets older I see myself opening up and being as honest with her as my other was with me. I see everything my mother taught me and now teach that to my children.
Now in my mid-thirties I know who I am. First as a daughter and now as a mother I see things through my daughters eyes. I respect my mother for everything she had done for me and continues to do. Its because of her I have become the women I am today. As a strong independent women I have no doubt this is who my mother intended me to be, I am my mothers daughter.