Youth is for adventure, long nights and failures that redefine who you are.
Some of us grow old unscathed, and with the type of grace that breeds envy. Picture perfect childhoods passed down through generations.
Others of us stumble. We make decisions that some will call mistakes and we will call “the day my life changed”.
My mother sometimes stumbles, sometimes trips and skins her knees.
But she’s the ballet dancer who doesn’t let it phase her, the one who steals the show because her mistake didn’t slow her down.
She’s the warrior who takes a deep breath and adjusts, giving up is not something she’s ever been familiar with.
My mother is the kind of woman who you can’t help but respect. I look at her and see the meaning of resilience.
Others look at her and see the words: successful, beautiful, strong, independent.
That’s without knowing about her stumbles, that’s the foundation she built all on her own.
And then you hear the past. Her past. Her mistakes and the little things that shaped her again and again.
You find out this successful woman got pregnant before she got her high school diploma. You discover she worked, finished school, went to college and raised a daughter all at once. You learn that she worked so hard she was able to start her own family tradition that will be passed down and envied.
My mother began the generation of resilience.
She raised a daughter who idolizes her but doesn’t put her on an unreachable pedestal. She created a life that proved statistics wrong but didn’t disrespect those who didn’t make it out of the cycle. She made a life out of her stumbles and has the respect of people she’s never met.
I’m talking about the woman who raised me. The one who has her college degree and high school diploma all dated years after my birth. This is for the woman who never gave up.
This is for my mother, the woman who didn’t try to erase her mistakes but rather built her success upon them.
This is my I love you.
Happy (belated) Birthday.