07: my mom

Today I am thankful for my mom, who I had the opportunity to see receive a Peer Recognition Award this afternoon at VU. To be recognized by supervisors is one thing, but to be recognized by your peers demonstrates a different kind of passion and integrity. She goes about her life, doing her job with excellence even in the face of chronic pain and disability, in such a way that she is able to make those she works with feel important and loved. She is able to excel without making others feel like less, and that’s certainly a special gift.

Yet I have the fortune of knowing her not only as a coworker (which I am!) but as a mom. How can I express thanks to the person who gave me life? Who in the face of a boyfriend insisting on an abortion, insisted on life… and because of that I am here to type this today. Had she done nothing else beyond that point, it would have been enough. She chose to fight for this little life growing inside her, a life that she knew would change everything she knew, or dreamed, or cared about. That is courage.

I am grateful that she taught me the hard lessons in life, with love. That she allowed me to make my own decisions and experience the consequences of mistakes. That she taught me that life isn’t always fair. That having less doesn’t necessarily mean you have less, but that your blessings are stored elsewhere. I thank her for teaching me how to love the unlovely. I am grateful that growing up she was my mother- not necessarily my friend. That she taught me to respect her and others in authority over me. That rules are there for a reason. That nothing good happens to a teenager after midnight.  Because of that, in my adulthood, we have developed a genuine friendship based on mutual respect and love.

Seeing her receive her award today, it was clear the inspiration she has been to so many, and the admiration she receives from her peers. But I get to do one better than that… I get to love her. After all, she’s my momma.

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