A letter to my mom on Mother’s Day: If I only knew…
The other day, I was sitting in the small crowded room for my three-year-old’s school Mother’s day presentation. When he came out onto the stage, I noticed he was looking for me. He wanted to know if I was there.
In his own little three-year-old way he wanted to know if he could count on me.
He wanted to know if I cared.
My little guy wanted to know that he had my support.
He wanted to see my familiar face in the crowd in order to muster up the courage to perform (he’s our shy one so he really didn’t do much but look up and smile.).
As I sat there I had a flashback of my own childhood performances and plays. I remember the moment I went on stage, I was always looking for your face in the crowd. In my own little way, I wanted to know that you cared enough to show up.
In public, you come across reserved and serious.
But your demeanor changes when you see us on stage performing for you (it was always for you)–you lit up. Your eyes had a glimmer of sparkle as if you were watching us receive the Nobel Peace Prize but in reality, we were just singing off tune or nervously reciting a short sentence on stage.
But the rare sparkle in your eye told me you cared and you were proud of me.
I was taken off guard how this simple memory of you filled my heart with joy and gratitude. Each tear filled my eyes with puddles of fond memories.
You didn’t do everything right in parenting (but who does). What counts is that I know you tried really hard and you loved me in the best way that you could.
I was reminded of your constant sacrifices for us. You were always rushing to make it to our performances whether it was day or night just so we would know you cared.
Dad worked long days so it was up to you to figure out this foreign world that didn’t’ speak your language. And because you didn’t drive you were always frantically trying to figure out a way to get to our school events. If you had to, you walked but you were there.
Remember how you were always coming up with creative ways to make our costumes? Due to the reality of our circumstances, we didn’t have money to buy something new.
Not Enough Words
Thank you, mami!
It seems like “thank you” and “gracias” seem too short of words to fully encompass the love and appreciation I feel for you.
I can’t even begin to fathom the countless sacrifices you’ve made for us that have gone unrecognized.
If I only knew…
But this I do know:
Your courage has made me fearless.
Your love for God has guided me, encouraged me and most of all left a deep desire in my heart to follow after God. The countless times I found you on your knees praying for us is etched in my heart.
Your wisdom even now as an adult overflows into my life.
The commitment and forgiveness you have shown our dad even in the midst of the most trying challenges have been an example of sacrificial love.
Your silliness you usually reserved only for your children and it always made our day. Dance parties in the living room. Silly songs at bedtime.
That belly laugh of yours always fills the room with joy even in your quiet presence.
Learning to let go of the past
As an adult, I have found myself questioning our mother-daughter relationship. We both know we had our share of tense times.
It’s easy to stay focused on the things someone didn’t do for us but you are the mom God gave me and I thank Him for it. Because out of those tense moments was born something beautiful– my own relationship with God.
It took me being a mom to know that you loved me the best way you could. You loved us with your prayers, your amazing food, and your presence. You loved us by sitting in the audience of our school performances cheering us on like our biggest fan.
Mami, your inner and outer beauty, your strength and love–fill my life even to this day. Gracias!
Rest assured, the endless sacrifices you’ve made for us (even the small and big ones I have no idea about) guide my life and will echo into the lives of your grandchildren, and their children… for generations to come.
Te quiero mucho! Espero que estas palabras sencillas le de una pequeña idea que sus sacrificios han tocado mi vida en muchas maneras…
My mother never finished school yet she’s one of the wisest women I know. The wrinkles through the crows feet around her eyes all have a story to tell of her courage, strength and faith.
If I only knew the rest of those stories.
(this post was updated on 5/11/2017)