Saturday, May 8, 2010
For My Mother on Mother's Day
My mother was only 18 when she became pregnant with me. It was 1984 and she was a senior in high school. She had met my father at Kroger which is where they both worked. My dad worked in produce and my mother worked the checkout lane and they met due to a customer complaining about rotten potatoes.
I can't imagine the fear and uncertainty my mother faced when she discovered she was pregnant. Her parents were very strict Catholics so breaking the news to them was, I'm sure, absolutely terrifying. JJ and I are just now discussing the possiblity of becoming parents sometime soon and I still get scared. I cannot imagine how me, as an 18 year old child could have handled it.
My mother did not believe in abortion and she knew she was going to have me. She is one of the reasons I am pro-life. My mother taught me at an early age that life begins at conception and every child deserves a chance at life. This is one of the many, many strong values my mother instilled in me at an early age.
My mother had a difficult pregnancy with me. She threw up every day for many, many months. In fact, every morning in homeroom, she had to leave to run to the restroom to throw up. She had many goals she wanted to acheive in her life. She wanted to go to college. She had scholarships that she was pursing. She wanted a career. Someday, she wanted to get married and start a family. But everything changed when she became pregnant with me.
Her and my father decided to get married. They got a tiny apartment and my mother graduated from high school. Once they had me, my mother stayed home to take care of me. My father went to college all day and worked at night. My mom was constantly alone. Can you imagine yourself at 18, staying home all day to take care of a baby when you have no idea what you are doing? She had no help. She was alone. And she was 18. Amazing.
My parents were very poor and had to work really hard for everything they had. They went without so that I could have a chance at a good life. When my mom was only 24, she lost her only sister. The grief she felt must have been overwhelming.
I often watch shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom and I find myself crying through so many of the episodes. I see the struggles these girls go through and how many of them end up losing their relationships with there significant others due to the stress. My mom fought for everything. Against all odds, her and my father have been together for almost 26 years. She fought to be a good mom and wife. She fought to give me everything I could ever need in life. She is the strongest and most intelligent person I have ever known in my life.
People underestimate her all the time. They see a stay at home mom who cleans the house and takes care of the kids. A lot of people don't value stay at home moms anymore. They don't see the strength it takes to sacrifice everything for your family and never complain. They don't see how underappreciated they are. Stay at home moms don't get paid. They don't get raises. They don't get annual performance reviews or recognition. Many times, the children and husband take stay at home moms for granted. I took my mom for granted all the time growing up and sometimes I still do. But more often then not I see the value and strength of my mother. I see a woman who is stronger than I think I could ever be. I see a woman who does not know her own intelligence. I know engineers and scientists that are not as smart as she is. I see body builders and marathon runners that don't have half of her strength. And my mother has no idea.
Mom, you are my best friend and my hero. Without you making the tough decisions, I would not be here today. I would not be strong enough to voice my opinions and to stand up for myself. I would not have my own inner strength. I know it is hard for you to value yourself. I pray that you realize how much you mean to our family.
Some people may groan and feel horror when they hear someone say, "You are just like your mother." I think that is one of the greatest compliments I could get. I only hope that one day I will possess the selflessness, strength, compassion and courage my mother shows every single day.
I love you Mom! Happy Mother's Day!
(Photos via weheartit)