Many people are asked who their heroes are. It’s kind of funny because they don’t usually say things like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln or some famous baseball player. They almost always say somebody they know. My brother. My best friend. That person who battled cancer and won. My Grandma.
My hero is my Mom. There are a lot of reasons why my Mom is my hero. Here are some of them. She raised me all by herself. Most people know my backstory. It’s a beautiful story but kind of sad, too. My parents split up when I was 6. My Mom took care of me while living with a friend in a small apartment and working in a foundry. I missed my dad but I don’t feel like I suffered much because I never lacked for attention. My Mom was always there for me when I needed her. I don’t remember her ever saying I’m too tired to talk to you. I’ve worked all day in the foundry. At nights when I had bad dreams, she would sit by my bedside until I fell asleep. She didn’t say, I need my sleep. I have to get up early. She loved me. That’s a lot to say.
She gave me standards so I could be the person I am today. When I was a teenager, she guided me in the way I should go. I remember one time telling her that me and my friend were going to go out hanging on the street corners. She was indignant and said No, you are not. We had the kind of relationship where I told my Mom almost everything so telling her where I was going even if it was hanging out on the streets was just natural.
When we came to believe in Christ, we came together at the same time. We even attended church together for many years. My Mom and I have the Lord in common and she taught me to stay close to Him even when it’s hard. She taught me to choose a life partner that loves God, too, and I did.
She guided me to make good choices but when I made some choices she didn’t necessarily whole-heartily agree with, she supported me through those choices. That’s what Moms do. They don’t ditch their kids because they don’t do everything they want them to.
My Mom always put me first. So I learned to put my kids first, too. At least I tried. I tried to want what was best for them but let them stumble a little when they needed to. It didn’t affect how I felt about them. My Mom and I had some struggles, especially through the teenage years. But she never gave up on me and I never gave up on her.
My Mom is battling cancer now and I am battling it with her. She is taking it like she has taken everything in life, with all her strength and by staying close to God and by worrying about others more than about herself. She has been such a shining example to me all my life and I don’t know how I will ever live without her if I am someday called to do that. So Happy Birthday, Mom. You are my hero. I hope to have you here with me as long as I live, but if not, someday I know I will join you in Heaven where we will be together forever.