Oh mama. I have a confession.
Until this day, I cannot listen to the first two seconds of Garth Brook’s If Tomorrow Never Comes without bawling. Ever since that day, many, many years ago when you sent me this video, when we were miles away from each other, when my life was tough, but we were tougher – I’ve not been able to hear this song without tears.
The first thought that came to my mind then and that remains today is how could I possibly not know how much you love me, mama?
Actions always reveal so much more than words do, mama, and all that you have sacrificed for me, all the hoops you jumped through to provide in such a selfless manner, well, I still try to wrap my head around that strength.
You are the one who worked from sunrise to sunset, taking as many buses as needed to get to work to put food on the table, and a roof over our heads. You worked relentlessly, but every day that you came home you never complained that you were too tired to play with me before my bed time.
You are the one who spent money left over after paying the bills on buying me more books, books that I would drool over every time the scholastic book advertisements were handed out at school.
Your happy hours weren’t ones filled with drinks, but ones spent on helping me with homework, watching my made up dance routines, playing jump rope with me, helping me learn how to ride a bike.
You are the one who held wet towels to my forehead when I had fevers, you are the one who until this very day holds me when my heart is broken, you are the one who packs her bags and gets on a plane without me having to ask when you know I need you, you are the one who ensures me that no matter what challenge life throws at us, we will figure it out. You are the one that I believe when you tell me that everything is ok. Because, we have always been the best team haven’t we, mama?
The transparency of your love for me has always been so clear and strong that I never knew that I was missing a father until other kids pointed it out to me. Because, mama, you filled every crevice of my life with love, with a love that created who I am.
It is because I have always known that love, mama, that I’m not afraid to take risks, that I am bold, that I don’t settle for ‘good,’ but instead demand the best of and for myself. It is because of that love, mama, that I am grounded and comfortable enough to share my love so fiercely with those in my life.
In loving me, you taught me how to love, mama.
You taught me that unconditional love faces the disappointments and the highs with the same level of love.
Your independence and will to make it through life with both fierceness and kindness taught me how to be a luchadora. I am a fighter, mama, because you showed me how to believe in myself, how to get right back up when I fall. You defined strength, and so I grew into it.
And, just as importantly, mama, you always allowed me to be me. You gave me room to find things out for myself, even when I know it was difficult for you not to step in and try to protect. You let me have experiences without judgement; there weren’t any “I told you so’s” in our home. Instead, you’ve encouraged me to think for myself, to make decisions from my gut, because if things do go ‘wrong,’ you believe that I will make them right again and you will stand by my side as I do so.
So, yes, mama, I know. I know how much you have always loved me. Yes, mama, you have showed me in every way, in all ways, how endless your love is.
But words fail me when it comes to you, mama. Because, words cannot transmit all that you are to me – my confidant, my best friend, my sanctuary. You are love, mama. You’re my only one.
Because, mom, I lucked out with you and there isn’t a day that goes by that I am not grateful for being gifted with your love.
Happy mother’s day, mama. I love you.