My mother is the bravest woman I know.
I was born in a time of great uncertainty and challenge. Funds were short; expenses were high. I was kid number four, and another mouth to feed is never an easy thing. But my parents welcomed me into the world with open arms and loving hearts - it wasn’t until I was much older that I realized how difficult of a time that was.
I’ve never asked my mom if she has any regrets, but there’s one thing she could say that wouldn’t surprise me: “I regret not being there.” Her dream her entire life has been to be a mom, to stay home and raise her family. In a twist of irony, that has been a fleeting dream during much of her marriage. It was no different when I was born. She had to work several jobs in addition to my dad’s income in order for them to collectively pay the mortgage and put food on the table. She was gone early in the morning, late at night, on holidays, on weekends. In short, all the time.
Still, she read to me and sang to me and prayed with me and tucked me in every night. She may not remember, but I do.
She’s always been more concerned about the needs of others over herself. The fact that she wasn’t always home when I was younger is a testament to me of just how much she loves me; not because she denied herself from me, but because she denied herself a dream for me.
She may never see the tangible effect she’s had on my family’s lives. She may not remember or consider those small, quiet, short, seemingly insignificant moments which she had with each of us. But I can guarantee that each of her children (and her husband, for that matter) have many memories of seemingly inconsequential moments with untold effects.