09 May 2010

My Mom, Miryam

OK...she'll probably kill me after posting this, but this post is brief but loving homage to my mom. She is a very modest woman, and not at all worldly in any sense, so I know she is not comfortable with public commentary. I will share the following only because other people deserve to know how blessed I am, and despite all the bad & crazy stuff going on in the world, there are good, decent, loving people around us.

My mom was born and raised in what she refers to as the poorest part of her country- El Cerro of Montevideo, Uruguay. She didn't have an easy life, but she had people in her life who love her, in their own ways, including her parents. At the age of just 19, she married my father and moved to the United States. Can you imagine leaving your country, culture, family, identity behind and heading for another continent? I don't know what went through my mom's mind. I don't know how she had the courage to come to a country whose language (at that time) she did not speak. There was no email, no skype, no cell phones. I think about that kind of decision in this day and age and think its completely nuts. But without her wisdom and courage, I wouldn't have been born in such a privileged and wealthy nation (yes- in this country we're rich, even when we are "poor"). I could have been a third world statistic.

Fast forward some 40+ years. My mom is the nuttiest person I know. And one of the people I love the most in this world. We definitely had our bumpy years when I was in my teens. But the older I get and the more I experience, the more I come to love and appreciate my mother. She is the hardest working woman I know. She is humble and lives a life of service to those around her. Family and friends are continual recipients of her service, including myself. Whenever she comes to visit she makes me crazy, because all she does is clean! The dialog is always the same: "Mom, please don't. You're on vacation." She responds, "I clean your house now because there will be a day when I am no longer able."

There are some things which are strictly Miryam (she HATES it when I call her by name). She will always be The Short Lady because she's so short she has to move the car seat ALL the way up to the steering wheel to drive. She will always speak her mind, even when its not the time or place. She will always tell strangers awkwardly sad stories about her childhood and be oblivious to everyone's discomfort (not her kids though- we just warn our friends & laugh).  Mom will never cook an amazing feast, but she WILL buy me the tools to do so for her. She will always send me my favorite Italian cookies for my birthday since they don't make them locally. She will always give terrible advice, and have no fashion sense. Miryam is guaranteed to sing off key, loudly, and not knowing the actual words. Its awesome to hear. And just a little complaint- she passed on the "hairy" gene to her daughters.

The thing is, I will always, without doubt or hesitation, love her. I'm learning that's the wild thing about mothers. They brought us into this world, raised us the best they knew how, and pray like mad we make to adulthood without serious mental deformities. I've seen my mom on her knees praying for her children. I have seen her cry tears of anguish on our behalf, and I finally get it. I finally understand why moms love their children so freaking much. They want us to be good, upright citizens of the world. They want us to care about others. They want us to share, to love.

And mom- I love you. I wouldn't trade you for anything, anyone. And you don't hear that enough from your family. I believe in the 10 Commandments. I strive to honor my father and my mother. I hope she knows that and sees that through my deeds.

Happy Mother, Mom.

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