Why I Owe It All To My Mom
Start writing a post

Why I Owe It All To My Mom

A concise tribute that does not do justice to the honor of my mother's character and her quality as a parent.

Why I Owe It All To My Mom

Earlier this afternoon, I called my mom to just have a normal conversation, which we do about four or five times each week.

Unfortunately, I did not know that she was in a conference call, but she stepped out and allotted me five minutes. She wasn’t angry and assured me that she appreciated the opportunity to talk with me. In addition to telling her about school-related matters, as I touched her name in my recent calls, I had this flash of a glimpse of much of what she’s done for me in the past year and-a-half. So before hanging up, I reaffirmed my great appreciation of her generosity, her support and encouragement, and her responsible care of me. I said that I think it’s a shame that I would settle into a mindset that takes her presence in my life for granted, but she told me that it happens for everyone. Even so, that conversation got me thinking about really all that she’s done to provide me with the healthiest, most growth-inducing, and most auspicious circumstances since the moment of my birth.

Firstly, she gave birth to me and raised me through infancy, which is an amazingly special act for any mother to perform, but I am still grateful that I had someone like her watching over me during that time. As soon as I grew so as to learn lessons and understand the workings of the world, she always stood close by to teach me about kindness and compassion – to these, even when I failed and treated people poorly, I responded best, and this laid the groundwork for my desire to realize in my conduct with others that which I wanted to receive from them. Her punishments and reprimands were just and appropriate, expressing disappointment rather than anger and demanding better of me in the future, while always maintaining a sense of love layering our relationship. In this way, she loved me enough to truly want me to become the best person I could be, for myself, for my family, for my friends, and for the stranger on the street. Meanness was never acceptable, physical violence prohibited, and disrespect held in the lowest regard. Around the later years of grade school, thanks to her tireless efforts in raising me and my sister as a single mother, I think I began to understand, if but superficially, the kind of person she raised me to be.

High school presented many challenges, including bullying from older students and an overarching loneliness supported both by being the new kid and by the tendency to shy away from social encounters. But she was there, there to listen to my tales and to be my venting receptacle, there to watch as I paced around our living room, talking, and often yelling, myself to tears, helping me to process and move beyond. The life necessities – our home, the food she prepared, the utilities – should not go unnoticed, and I am incredibly fortunate to have spent my juvenile years in an area of the world in which I never had to wonder about my next meal or if I would happen upon a shelter from disagreeable weather. But provision alone is not how a parent distinguishes himself or herself. In our community, which is very wealthy, we were on the lower end of the economic spectrum, but we had enough, and my mother made sure that I understood that. Especially when I assimilated into the public system, she made sure to continually interweave the lessons I learned with affirmations that your social status and economic prosperity has no bearing on the condition of your heart, which is far more vital and precious in a holistically successful life. These were so amazingly timely, as I beheld much disrespect and intra-community prejudices and observed their terrible effects on young minds, and I used these as reasoning for my own resolve to excise such practices from my behavior.

When I came home from the University of Rochester in the fall of 2015, I thought my life had ended and sunk into a depressive state. I had lost all sense of identity and retained no visualization of the near or distant future. But she was there. She paid for my sessions with my invaluable counselor and didn’t charge me rent for living at home in the understanding that I was in a state of flux. She put up with the inconveniences of supporting another person in her home for longer than previously anticipated and always made sure to tell me that she welcomed my presence, even if unexpected, in the face of my worries to the contrary. She helped me, again, to process the transition to a lifestyle centered on more immediate stressors in the workforce, still enriching me with stories and wise maxims gleaned from her first occupational experiences. As an alumna of the University of Pittsburgh, she shared in my excitement at getting to see my home city on a more intimate and regular scale as I took classes in the spring and over the summer.

Soon, it came time for me to return to Rochester, and as we finished setting up my room on move-in day, I could not help a feeling of having come full-circle. Here I was again, and yes, she was still there. And so I told her, “Thank you for not giving up on me.” Life has no soundtrack. We never see an enduring relationship dramatically portrayed in a moving montage. But her belief in my potential, her strength and purity of heart as a mother, could rival any screenplay. Hence, yes, I really did mean it, as others may have dismissed my plight as it became more and more trying, but not she. If you appreciate any aspect of my personality or how I treat people, I want you to think of my mother. Chances are, even if I learned the lesson supporting that action independently, she was the one who put me in the correct mindset to do so. She taught me to think about learning lessons in the first place, to think about how each action has the capacity to advance or set back, to uplift or to injure, to smite or to heal, and how each contributes to character.

She is still here, and I will love her until I stop breathing and never start again.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

If you love BTS, I'm sure you relate to one or many of them in several ways. This star test will help you learn more about which member you are most connected to.

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

Astrological signs tell a lot about a person. Do you ever wonder what your BTS bias star sign is? Is it the same as yours, or or are you more like one of the other amazing members? Take a look and find out what yours (and the members of Bangtan) says about you.

Keep Reading... Show less

Hittin' the Road Playlist

With the end of August approaching more quickly than many of us would like, the preparation for school is happening in more ways than just one.


The car is all packed. The money you saved (and didn't spend online) from your summer internship is secured quietly in your bank account. The immediate reunion with your long-distance college friends is set. The real question on everyone's minds is: do you have the perfect melody to jam to as you journey back to school? 

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments