This post is dedicated to my wonderful and beautiful mother whom I admire greatly. She is the strongest and most resilient person I have ever met and one who continues to make my boo boos (and there are many), all better.
What a beauty she is and has been, all of her life. The youngest of three (all girls) she learned from the mistakes of her siblings and stayed out of trouble, always under the radar and on her own. Her sisters were too busy doing their things and were considerably older.
Growing up on a beautiful farm, she had the luxury of calling the many acres they lived on, her playground. Loneliness introduced her to her imaginary friends (Betty and Mary). They played with her, came over for parties she hosted and kept her company.
She learned to drive the farm equipment at a very young age and would take her “friends” on excursions throughout the grounds on many occasions. She was young, she was innocent and she was happy.
She met my father through some real friends she had while visiting the city, 70 miles from their farm.. They fell in love at the age of 15 and married in their mid 20’s.
They were devoted to each other and worked hard, but life proved to be very hectic with three young children. My father struggled with different jobs and finances were tight.
Depression hit my mother hard at the news that she was pregnant with her fourth child. There was a 4 year difference between my youngest sister and our new member to-be. My mother was overwhelmed and could not imagine having any energy left, and another mouth to feed.
Their little “oops” soon came into this world to join his older siblings. As soon as he was born, everyone knew he was far from being an oops and closer to being a special miracle we had been blessed with. We almost lost him to Steven-Johnson‘s Syndrome while still a baby and my parents never left his side during the weeks he was in critical condition at the hospital.
We were now 6. Our parents, two boys and two girls, evenly matched. A job opportunity for my father plucked us out of Puerto Rico and to the States to live. Life was better for us all and we all thrived.
As a little girl, I idolized my mother. My favorite pastime was to sit on her bed and watch her get ready for the endless parties and events my parents went to. They were a very social couple and the invitations were always pouring in. I would watch her with intensity as she applied her make up on, flawlessly. She was a natural beauty but the make up would amplify this beauty and bring it to life.
Her long fancy gowns fit her petite figure like a glove. The sweetness of her perfume lingered throughout the house for hours after she left. Often times the scent of her perfume would intermingle with the musky cologne my father would wear.
Throughout the years, I continued to watch the patience, calmness, love and commitment she displayed toward all of us. My father, though a very loving man, was not an easy man to live with. But the tough times were no match to her incredible strength that kept our family afloat.
Even after I married and had children, I witnessed her devotion, care and dedication she showed my father as he battled, in defeat, his bout with cancer. She was there at his side until the very end.
As a widow, she struggled to make a new life for herself and had to reach deep into her heart and soul to find the ability to go on without her life-long mate. She hurt, and was overcome by sorrow but persevered, as she often did.
Twelve years after the death of my father, at the age of 73, her life changed, once again. Not able to fend off the persistent courting of a very nice man who was smitten with her, she re-married.
Watching their courtship and her regression into a teenage girl in love, was amazing. She held on to her old-fashioned values and her faith as they courted. Catching her sneaking down to our basement (she was staying at my home while I recovered from surgery) to Skype her new crush, who at the time lived 3000 miles away, and hearing her cell phone light up and beep away as he texted her all day long, was surreal. My mother was behaving just like my teenage kids and I was loving it.
They have been married for two and a half years now and she could not be happier. What a wonderful sight for her children to watch this adorable and loving couple holding hands all the time, doing everything together and talking into all hours of the night – never running out of things to say.
We soon felt a great affection toward him, which was not difficult to do, as he is a kind and loving soul who treats my mother like the queen she deserves to be.
I watch with pride and happiness, this elegant woman who endured her share of challenges and sorrow, now live a more stress-free life filled with love and adventure. Not burdened with the angst that goes along with being a young couple raising four kids.
Her happiness brings us all an abundance of joy. To see her embrace life once again and thrive, is wonderful. She never imagined she would remarry or would find such happiness at this late stage in her life.
She continues to rely on her strong faith and has no regrets or doubts about her younger life.
As her daughter, nothing could be more reassuring and tranquil than knowing that she is happy and taken care of.
I can only hope that some of that strength, faith and ability to persevere has trickled down on to me, so that I too may embrace life, move forward as I age and live with no regrets.