By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
It’s hard to believe that this Sunday is Mother’s Day. This year has flown by so fast that May — and Mother’s Day with it — almost snuck up on me. But, here we are and, once again, I am struggling to put into words just how I feel about my mom. Why? Because words just don’t do her justice.
The older I get, the better able I am to reflect on the journey I’ve shared with my mom. The older I get, the more I fully fathom what a blessing she has been, not just in my life, but in our entire family’s life.
There’s a saying that you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. A younger version of myself might’ve grumbled a few times at that latter reality, especially when it came to my mom because we didn’t always see eye to eye when I was a child. That was largely in part because I was what folks used to call “headstrong.” I may not have realized it then, but that’s definitely a trait I inherited from her.
You can call it many things: stubbornness, doggedness, tenacity, persistence. You can also call it steadfastness, resoluteness or determination. Whatever you call it, it’s my mom I’ve got to thank for it. And as I’ve grown older I’ve come to realize that that’s just one of the ways in which she and I are not as dissimilar as I once thought.
I sometimes wonder if my mom realized how alike we are, even back then. Even during the awkward teenage years when I, like most adolescents, was sure I knew everything about everything, but hadn’t yet caught onto the fact that I didn’t really know much about anything. I’m sure she did. She’s one of the wisest, savviest people I know, after all.
I’m going to pause here for a moment because this is exactly what I was talking about at the beginning of this week’s column. For the last few paragraphs I’ve been fumbling around trying to articulate what I admire about my mom and why, and instead of finding graceful words and crafting eloquent sentences to do just that, I’ve instead done nothing more than amass a jumbled mess of disjointed thoughts.
Because how, exactly, do you describe the slow dawning of understanding you’ve realized about the nature of someone so close and constant to you as your mother? And the ever-increasing appreciation and thankfulness you have for her?
My mom has always been a woman of incredible, unshakeable faith. She has built her life and her family on a foundation of faith in God, faith in love, and faith in family.
And as I have grown from being a small child, dependent on her for care, to an adult, dependent on her for wisdom and strength, I find myself seeing my mom’s faith in new and continually amazing lights.
As I’ve grown, so, too, has my relationship with my mom. She’s not just my mom anymore; she’s also one of my very best friends. That is an incredible gift that can’t adequately be put into words. It’s a gift I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have.
I love you, Mom. Thank you for everything.
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