May 10, 2016

This Mother's Day Was Different

First I will start by saying Happy Mother's Day to all the supermoms out there that have been holding their families down since day one. You all are worthy of so much more than one day of celebration. You all deserve your biggest dreams and your hopes. You all deserve no back talk and no sass. You all deserve yes ma'ams and will dos. My mom, a single mother of 3, deserves the moon and the stars because they are the only thing in this universe that is worthy. 

This mother's day was different for me. It was more meaningful to me than those before. I always knew that mother's day for my family was extremely important. My mom raised my sisters and I by herself. She had little to no help from others. Our fathers were nearly never there when she needed them to be. Our relatives had families of their own to care for so we were just a burden. My mother had my oldest sister in her mid 20s, had me just 2 years later and my little sister in her 30s--by that time she sort of had motherhood figured out. But before the birth of my youngest sister, I saw my mom's struggle first hand. We moved from home to home. We barely got to see her because she had to work and grind hard to put food on the table. We often stayed with family friends who were no good. Because we relocated so often, by the age of 10 I had been to 5 different elementary schools (a different one for each year). One could imagine how hard it was for me to make friends. I always have been a little standoffish and I'm starting to believe that is the reason why. But anyway, to say the least my mother made sure her 3 girls were good. She made sure we had food, clothes and a place to lay our heads at night. 

I can remember one day being picked up from summer school and being told that our car was stolen. I saw that my mom was completely exhausted and overwhelmed so instead of making a fuss I just gave her a hug. Amazingly enough she was able to pick us up and locate the car and get it back all in the same day. I swear she has super powers. She never complained (unless we didn't clean the dishes) and she rarely did anything for herself. We were and are still her lifeline. 

Now I know many of us have similar stories to tell about our mothers so bare with me if I am boring you. These reasons are enough to make any mother's day special but there was one thing my mother did for many years that changed this mother's day for me. 

I mentioned earlier that my father and my sister's fathers were never there. Throughout the years I learned to just accept that and move on. I didn't understand why they acted this way but I was comfortable enough with myself and my life to let them (more particularly him) go. I grew up with a father whom I thought was my biological father. I've known him my entire life so to think anything different was ridiculous. Well, after a few years of questioning my existence and hearing whispered conversations about my father I mustered up the courage to ask my mother a question. "Who is my real father?".I'm sure the question hit her like a ton of bricks. I never questioned her about it before but I felt that I was mature enough and old enough to know the truth now. She took a long sigh and began to tell her story. I sobbed for days and I held it against her for months. I couldn't understand why she kept such a secret from me. 

Through the pain I learned something. I realized that she kept that secret from me for me. My father past away months before I was born. He didn't know I existed and his family didn't care to build a relationship with me. My mother knew that I would be crushed by this news so she held this secret from me for 20 years until she knew I was ready. Mother knows best is what people always say and now I believe this to be true. If she had shared this with me any sooner I would still be crushed and miserable while steadily questioning my existence and purpose. But with her guidance and my own strength, I have learned to recover from the pain and understand my story. Most importantly, I have learned to accept my story.

It takes a strong woman to keep such a secret for many years. It takes an even stronger woman to keep such a secret in order to save their child the embarrassment and pain. So this mother's day was different for me. I had a different outlook on life and reasoning. I now know that everything, and I do mean everything my mother does for us is for our own good.

Thank you mom.

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