Nicole (Woman About Town) inspired me to write a little something about my mom since Mother’s Day just passed…my brother, Mark, penned a wonderful poem (if he’d email it to me, I’d love to post it here) for her but sadly I haven’t made any of my own attempts at creative writing in a very long time.
My mom is an amazing person. A native of Wisconsin who essentially moved to the South to marry my father, a New Orleans native, and left her not-so-wonderful family behind. Despite having grown up with a somewhat abusive father and a mentally checked out mother, Mom managed to rise above all that and become an exceptional human being and mother of three children. She stayed home to raise and care for us while dad worked long hours, commuted to work, and often had to entertain clients or prepare for trials late into the evenings. She packed our lunches, drove us to and from school, and helped us with our homework. We used to get into it over math (my worst subject ever); she’d try and try to explain things to me, but I’d get frustrated and angry over my own apparent stupidity, and I’d yell and throw the pencil and take it out on her. I’d come home from school crying because kids teased and bullied me, stole my lunch, called me “Witch Nose,” or “kike,” or made fun of me for my laugh. Mom was always there to comfort me when I came home, humiliated, from another tragic day at school. When I fought with my best friend, suffered endlessly from unrequited love, and got my period, Mom was there.
When we were in elementary school Mom decided to go back to school herself and get the degree she’d always wanted. She went to the University of New Orleans, taking classes during the day while we were in school, and still managed to handle getting us to & from school and was home with us afterwards. She went part-time for about eight years and got her bachelor’s degree in social work, followed by her master’s. And in the middle of all this, Dad came out of the closet and they got divorced. How she juggled all of that I’ll never know. I do know it wasn’t easy, but she survived and grew stronger because of it.
My mom is one of the most selfless people I know. She consistently puts herself last and does without so she can do for her family first. She is an incredible mother and grandmother and has taught me about the kind of person I want to be. I just wish she saw herself as others see her—maybe then she would shine even more.