A Different Kind Of Motherly Love

A Different Kind Of Motherly Love

Dedicated to my mother

Parents are a blessing because they are the only people in the world that will love, support, guide and be honest with you, no matter the circumstances. My childhood was extremely playful and exciting, thanks to them and my two siblings.

I always felt the happiest and the most loved when there was affection between me and the family. My dad was always the most affectionate, with endless hugs and kisses, however, my mother always had a different way of showing love.

My mother is the most courageous, bold and independent woman I have met in my life. She always has a goal in life, she searches for new things to do and learn. She is my family's fairy godmother because she devotes all her time making sure her children are happy, healthy and determined.

My mother believes that no matter how hard things get in life, continue to remain a fighter.

Don't stop, keep making progress because you will eventually get there. It was a way of reminding me that I will be a confident and independent woman on my own two feet.

So, her way of showing love was through verbal encouragement and the occasional pat on the back. She doesn't like hugs or kisses, she prefers a good high five or a fist pump. What I can recall from my memory, I have seen my mother cry once in life, and that was when her parents visited the US for the very first time.

My mother and I never had a close relationship like that sort I saw in my friends and their mothers. I would see them go shopping, share secrets and do a bunch of girly things. I once tried to ask my mother about her teenage years, and all she said was "it was great' and chose not to share anything else.

She prefers to be more stern and forceful, but I wouldn't have it any other way. She doesn't sugarcoat anything, she remains utmost honest and critical because it's all out of love. That close feeling that I wanted for so long occurred the day I was leaving for college.

It was a rainy day at around 5 a.m. in Houston. I was ready in the car to be driven to the airport. I was excited and nervous. Everyone emotionally broke down in my family, except my mom. She remained strong like she always has been.

I waved her goodbye and we left.

Just as we were about to exit outside of the gated community, I requested my father to stop and turn around the car because I wanted to see mom again. There she was, standing right there with her arms open. I ran towards her and hugged her so tight after so many years. I said, "I love you mom and I will be your brave daughter".

Love can come in many different shapes and forms and our bond may not be the typical mom and daughter story, but I'm thankful for what she has sacrificed for me and hope to resemble the woman my mother is.

Cover Image Credit: Photo taken by Maya Moujaes

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Happy Birthday

Thank you Dad.

So they always say that there is going to be one man in your life that loves you unconditionally from the day you are born for the rest of your life.

This man will be the one to read you bed time stories when you're little and will one day walk you down an aisle to give you away. He will be there for the biggest moments of your life. The dance recitals, the color guard contests, the band concerts, and everything in between.

A person who is going to look at you when a boy breaks your heart at fifteen years old and be ready to take him on for you. A man that will teach you how to change your brakes, how to manage money, and how you can be the best version of yourself every day.

I'm lucky enough to know that he is my dad.

Thank you for everything you have done for me as I have grown up. Thank you for teaching me how to change a tire on my car, how to be business savvy, how to be independent, and how to be myself. You also taught me how to stand up for myself which has made me a better person each and every day.

There are countless things that you do for me that I am always grateful for. I know I don't always say thank you when I should so this is a way that I wanted to use to do so.

Thank you for inspiring me to participate in marching band for all of those years and for always giving me advice on how I can and continue to improve myself each day.

Happy Birthday to you. Watch a soccer game and hang out with the cat since you're her favorite anyway.



Cover Image Credit: Monica Perryman

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Dear Dad, Thanks For Opening My Eyes

I hope you know your words, and who you are as a person, mean the world to your daughter.

Unlike most college kids on spring break, I didn't seem to have much of one. With a demanding major like mine, the grind never stops. Believe me, I knew what I was getting myself into when I enrolled in college. I love to challenge myself and keep myself busy but sometimes I too feel lost or hopeless when I'm putting in immeasurable hours of work and not seeing any progress.

And so, I paced the floor back and forth, until I plopped onto the couch. The only thing I could bring myself to do is cry and think that I'll never be able to get to my final destination in life if I can't pass those "weed-out courses." It was then instead of going to sleep or hanging out in the garage, my father decided to comfort me instead.

I got the usual from him: How was your day? What's new?

Of course,the waterworks began. It was in that moment that I told my dad how lately I've been drowning in school work, no, the college life. He responded with what I've been needing to hear for the last twenty years of my life. Truthfully, I think every person could use his advice now and forever.

Here's what he told me:

Before the break-up of Yugoslavia, my father was doing what any typical young adult would be doing with their life. He was a prospective engineering student, and just like myself, a diligent one. He mentioned the way I had been feeling lately brought him back into his old shoes.

The unimaginable happened. A brief moment in time, and my father found himself not in a classroom, but a concentration camp with other innocent men like himself. It was then he emphasized how life is cheap.

All the little things he would normally get frustrated over in college, at home, or with friends didn't even seem to matter anymore. He had to worry about his life being on the line. He had to take care of himself, yet he was also worrying if he would ever be reunited with his family. He was thinking about how he would get through another day.

The moral to his story is now forever engraved in my mind. It makes me realize my tears and uneasiness won't make changes to my life. There are bigger things to focus my time on. As much as your education should be a top priority, when you weigh it out, it's no match to you and your health overall.

Sometimes, life is going to take you through twists and turns, and you may have to make a few sacrifices (maybe with your sleep schedule or skipping out on a Friday night), but you cannot beat yourself over it each and every time. Give it a rest once in a while. You can only give it your all to a certain extent, until it starts to become an unhealthy habit, and even become an unwanted lifestyle.

Dad, I know you and mom gave up everything you had to give me a better life. You came to a foreign land with absolutely nothing, and took the opportunity to make that nothing into something. You've allowed me to have everything I've ever needed, and wanted to live a simple kind of life.

It was hard for me to understand all the advice you tried to give me before, and I never listened. Now the older I get, the more applicable your advice has been for my life. My eyes have been opened for the first time in a while, and I understand now! I push myself to do the same as you did twenty short years ago, and I hope someday I can return the favor you've given me all these years, and be just as successful and joyful as you are today.

I hope you know your words, and who you are as a person, means the world to your daughter. I am lucky that I was granted you as my role model, my sunshine at the end of the tunnel, and the best dad in the universe.

Cover Image Credit: Ermina Mulavdic

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