This Mother’s Day, I am reflecting on my childhood. I was blessed to be raised by a stay at home mom. This wasn’t just a circumstance she found herself in, for her it was a career choice. Make no mistake, being a stay at home mom and managing a household is a career. My mom taught me some practical life skills, how to sew on a button, scrub dishes, balance a checkbook, pay bills. But it was the attitudes she instilled in me that made me the woman I am today.
My mom was involved in our lives. She was an active volunteer at school. At least once a week she could be found assisting wherever needed on campus. She didn’t just do this for the opportunity to socialize with other adults, she did it to have a voice in what was being taught. She knew, even all those years ago, that schools were quickly becoming indoctrination centers for Socialist ideology and that by being in the trenches she might have an influence. She shared this reasoning with us, and it has inspired my political activism. At one time, she was on the executive committee of four different PTAs, elementary school, middle school, high school, and the South Texas district. She wasn’t just a helper, she took charge. I’ve seen her lay out the agenda for meetings, and preside over them. She planned fundraisers, and even coordinated a parade for the entire school district. She understood the impact this had on our upbringing. Let me tell you, when all the teachers and principals know your mom, when all the kids at school know your mom, when all the other moms know your mom, and everything you do at school WILL get back to your mom, you WILL behave. This fact encouraged me to be involved with my own children’s activities, and not just me, my sister and brother were also active in the schooling and interests of their children.
My mom is courageous. Twice she battled breast cancer and won. She always stayed active and kept an upbeat and positive attitude, which her doctors credited to her healing. She managed this even when undergoing grueling rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, and painful radiation. I know there must have been times when in the solitude of her thoughts she must have prayed “why me G-d?” but she walked as a victor, not a victim. She put herself in G-d’s hands and submitted to His will. She had cancer; cancer didn’t have her.
Above all else, my mom is a faithful woman. Not just to my father, which in itself is a wonderful example of the beauty of marriage, but to her Heavenly Father. My mom is not a “cultural Christian”. She earnestly believes in the power of the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen her fervent prayers and I’ve seen her prayers answered. And even when they weren’t answered in the way she hoped, she still had faith that it was for the best. Her steadfast belief has encouraged and inspired my own, and I still call on her to pray with me when I need that extra support.
My mom is the epitome of the true Texan Woman. A woman who is always in her element. Whether she is helping build a fence, straddling a goat while she vaccinates it, or wearing an evening gown, dining in an elegant restaurant.
So, this Mother’s Day I wanted my mom to know just how much I value her example. An example that is desperately needed in today’s world. She set the bar high. I hope I’ve managed to live up to it.