We’re not just the sum of our parents. The universe offers us the potential to learn and be mentored by many people. I am lucky to have been raised by a woman who taught me to be strong. I didn’t realize what an incredible gift my mother gave me until I faced the premature birth of my daughter 5 years ago.
My mother inherited strength from hers, a trait that saw her through a lot of life’s troubles. She earned an 8th-grade education in her home country, an unusual feat when most of her peers didn’t make it that far. In America, she wore her body down working on factory floors, and cleaning office buildings. She told me to go to school nearly every day. Exactly how I would do that, or what I would need to do once I earned a bachelor’s and a masters, was a mystery to her.
So, to navigate the world outside my home, I’ve relied on people’s help, mostly women. One woman in particular has taken me under her wing since I gave myself permission to say that I want to write stories for a living. I’ll call her D. because I think this post will embarrass her. D. gives me faith that there are people who will want to read my stories. She tells me I’m a great writer, and encourages me to keep going even when I feel the barriers are too great. D. is a wonderful woman in her own right, but what adds an extra layer to our relationship is that she’s about twice my age, and she’s Jewish. When I was a teenager and my world was much smaller, I thought people outside my community would never take an interest in me. Every day D. is in my life, I know that’s not true.
On Sunday, I’ll celebrate Mother’s Day. I’ll kiss my daughter until she tolerates it. Plus, I’ll give my love to the woman who brought me into the world, and the women who help me figure out how to make it.
What about you? Was Mother’s Day an opportunity for you to think of the people who’ve helped get you where you are?
—- I didn’t get to post this until Sunday night. Ugh! This blogging thing is kickin’ my butt! I’ll try my best to post in a timely fashion, but completing my book takes precedence. Oh well!