How My Mother's Selflessness Taught Me The True Meaning Of Sacrifice
I love my mother more than you probably love yours.
But, I didn’t always love her so much. Well, you can go ahead and gasp.
When I was a child, I was the epitome of a daddy’s girl. On most days, I couldn’t be bothered to seek out my mom's affection because I was saving it all for him.
Then one day, he left, and I was a train wreck.
I pretty much stayed that way for most of my existence, until recently.
After years of demonizing my mother to anyone who would listen, I had an epiphany that the monster was me.
I was a messed up kid who was emotionally incapable of seeing through the hard times in life without blaming it on someone else.
I lashed out, and unfortunately, the easiest target was the one who was always standing right beside me.
It makes me ashamed beyond words that I ever painted myself as the victim, when her world was left in shambles.
She was the one who took her world and all four of her children’s worlds, and built them back up through blood, sweat and tears.
I made her life infinitely more difficult in every way, instead of trying to help ease her burdens.
I will forever live with that guilt.
She went back to school, made a career for herself and sacrificed every breath she took in the name of her children.
Even when we all were complete disasters, she still fought on in the hopes of a better future for us.
She never judged us, never missed a life event and continuously defended us when others tried to demean us.
So what is it I reflect on now?
I realize she avidly believed in us and jumped in the way of every grenade life threw our way, in order to shield us as much as possible from any further pain, even if it wounded her instead.
I now live each day in full awareness my mother wholly moves me to my core.
If you experienced the travesties we lived through (or the ones we also created ourselves and forced onto her), you’d be in awe of her, too.
She became the kind of woman I am sure I could never become, but I will always aspire to be. She is the living, breathing testament of survival and selflessness.
Therefore, I spend my days trying to pay her back in any way I can think of.
I tell her, “I love you” 100 times a day.
I save my money to take her to concerts or plays, so she can enjoy life as much as she made it possible for us to enjoy life, too.
I make sure she never again walks for miles in the blazing heat or freezing snow to the bus stop, before commuting to a job she works countless hours at every day to support us.
My brothers and I all have cars, and she gave up her own need for one to provide us with that luxury.
I try to relish every moment we share, even if it’s just watching movies together or singing one of our favorite songs during car rides.
I got two tattoos etched into my skin to carry her spirit with me when we're apart, even though I get to come home to her.
I hold her in my arms and kiss her as often as possible in complete fear of the day when I can no longer do so.
And the worst part is, I became fully aware I can’t live without her.
I know someday she will no longer be here.
One day, I'll no longer be able to tell her my stories, to see her smile, to make her laugh, to hug her and to kiss her.
I can’t even grasp the thought of it. I have literally spent numerous hours in therapy due to the anxiety I feel over losing her one day.
She’s so much more than someone I owe the world to; she’s the reason I breathe in and out every single day.
Her love is what has and what continues to sustain me through every day of my life.
The reason I began this by saying I love my mother more than you probably love yours is because what we share is so rare, and it is the heaviest of the burdens I carry.
I live in fear every single day of losing her, and I have had past partners in relationships question whether I loved her more than them (which I wholeheartedly admitted to).
When she is gone, I won’t be able to bear it, and I know there’s a good chance I will need to committed.
I know I won’t be able to exist when my whole heart gets placed beneath the ground.
You see, my mom is not of this world. She is — in every way — a being who was created in a distant place I could never dream of, where angels are made.
My mom is sacred and a gift to the world, and somehow, I was lucky enough to call her my own.
What have I done in a past life to deserve that kind of blessing?
I want to keep writing until my fingers bleed, but there will never be adequate words to describe the fulfillment her love gives me.
They say you can't really know people unless you know what they are like when they are alone.
Well, do you know what I do when I am alone sometimes?
I cry tears of joy over the thought of her, and I cry tears of terror envisioning what it will be like when I won’t have her here every day anymore.
When her own mother died, I watched her struggle and experience heartbreak, and it scared the hell out of me.
We both admittedly said what we share is so beyond the realm of norm.
The only way I get through daily life is hoping God could bless me one last time.
I hope he releases me from this world the same moment he releases her, knowing we simply could not exist without the other.
I’m looking at her right now, snuggled on the couch about to sleep off a hard day’s work, only to embark on another tomorrow.
I am savoring this chance to look at her.
So, Mommy, my sunshine, I am going to ask one more thing selfishly of you.
Don’t leave me, and take me with you when you go.
There is no me without you, and I don’t ever want to have to face a world where you are no longer present to make it a better place.