A Mom Who Loved Yet Remained Firm

Anthony Thames
Spare Change News

It occurred to me that Mother’s Day was fast approaching, and I realized this would be an opportunity for me to give homage to my dear mom and to all the beautiful moms in the world.

I recently sat down with my mom, and we talked about her life. She was the daughter of a sharecropper. As a child, she worked long hours of the day in the scorching heat, most times for little to no pay.

She recalled one incident in which her father — my grandfather — received his yearly earnings. How she, after examining his books, realized he had been given less than what was due for that year. She brought this to my grandfather’s attention, but he doubted her accuracy and requested she go over the figures again. My mom re-calculated her figures and she ultimately came to the same initial results.

My grandfather then took her to the landowner’s home and asked my mom to show the figures she had come up with. When the landowner checked and then re-checked the figures, he agreed that his original figures where in fact inaccurate and he dutifully paid my grandfather the remaining amount owed. He further complimented my grandfather on how smart my mom was.

As my mom reflected on this story, I immediately understood then why she was so adamant that we — her children — work hard to get an education. My mom raised eleven children, primarily on her own. She was definitely a “tough cookie.” Going to school and receiving an education, for her children, was absolutely non-negotiable.

For some time, I personally struggled with addiction and homelessness. On occasion, I could rely on my mom for a warm meal or a restful night’s sleep. My mom obviously struggled whenever I struggled; yet she was careful not to become an enabler for me. She remained firm in that I continue to go out and get my own. And though I didn’t see it at the time, I realize now that it was partly her tough love for me which forced me to come to the decision to do all that was humanly possible to make some changes in my life and ultimately go out and get my own.

I’ve often dreamed that one day I would become financially able to purchase my mom a home. But even buying her a house could not repay her for all she’s given me. Since the beginning of humanity, moms have struggled and worked hard all so that their children could have a better life than they had. Always willing to make necessary sacrifices for others. We are truly blessed to have a mother or mothers in the world. Whatever the circumstances our moms may be in, we can always be confident that they are smiling down on us with pride and aspiration.

Whatever troubles life may throw at us, it is reassuring to know that our moms are there for us with comfort and support — either in a spiritual sense or otherwise.

My mom has a saying: “Don’t wait till I’m dead and gone to bring me flowers, give me my flowers now, while I’m here, so that I can appreciate them.”

My mom recently visited my apartment for the first time. She smiled with a satisfied sense of pride and attachment toward my choices and actions. For that moment, I could sense that finally, I had become a flower in her eyes.

I love you Mom, for being there for me unconditionally. For loving me, even at times when I didn’t even love myself.

ANTHONY THAMES is a Spare Change News writer and vendor.

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