A good friend recently proclaimed the awesomeness of his mother publicly on Facebook. As I read about his gratitude, it made me desire to do the same for my own mother.
My mother was born and raised in the Philippines. After marrying my American dad, she came here to America. In so doing, she left nearly everything that she knew. Not just her culture, but her family and pretty much every person she knew. Well, not her entire family. She had us.
Other than us, Mom had pretty much no one here in America. To further complicate her life, she was Catholic living in an area that was roughly 90% Mormon — many of whom openly believed that the Catholic Church was the Church of the Devil. She also didn’t get a driver’s license until she’d been here for a good 10 years or so.
As kids we received an allowance from my father every other Thursday. On that day, we would all ride our bikes with my mother to the local Safeway and buy candy while she did the grocery shopping. We’d then load up our bikes and ride back home. This is one of the few things I remember us all doing together with Mom. To us, it meant candy. But I often wonder if it was something my mom really looked forward to, being it was just about the only family time we spent with her.
Sure she made a friend here and there and even made a couple of very close friends. But sometimes you need more than that. Sometimes things are so bad, you need the familiarity and comfort of home and family. And for my mom, we were it. We were all that she had. And I wish I could say that we were enough, but looking back I realize that wasn’t the case.
My mom had some hard days. On the days she needed us most, we would sometimes treat her horribly. A selfish little kid that always expected his mom to take care of him whenever he wanted. And she always did no matter how terrible of a kid I was.
Despite her desperate need to be comforted by family (or possibly because the need was so desperate) she never failed in what she viewed as her motherly duties. The house was never unclean, our beds never unmade, our laundry never unwashed or unfolded, the dishes never unclean, our dinner never not ready at 5:00 sharp every evening.
Sure we helped out on occasion, but only when asked and almost always begrudgingly. I think all would be shocked to hear the kind of backtalk we gave her sometimes.
Now Mom wasn’t perfect. But if she ever had any failings, it expressed more a failure on my part in my role as her son than it did in her role as my mother.
Let it be known that I love my mom and I want to commit myself to ensuring that, going forward, she knows this through my deeds, actions, and words.
My mom is amazing. And she has always been a good mom. No, strike that. She has always been an awesome mom.