Mama

Another Mother’s Day is nearly upon us, and I feel immense gratitude that my mother is here to celebrate it. With the past year we have all lived, it is nothing short of a miracle that she remains healthy and safe. It is a true gift.

My mother is a force of nature. When she enters a room, people take notice. She is of average height, but she carries herself with grace, self-possession, and confidence. My mother is stunning. She has smooth, deep brown skin, almond-shaped dark brown, nearly black eyes, a short afro of all white hair and a smile that exudes kindness, and ignites happiness in others. The same smile my brother, son, and I all inherited.

As a child, even seeing her across a room would make my chest swell with pride and love. I am now 43 years old and I won’t deny that I still feel the same way. My love, respect and admiration for my mother has in fact only deepened with time, and particularly so since becoming a mother myself.

The love I feel for my spirited, empathic and beautiful 10-year-old son is so fierce, profound, and instinctual. My desire to protect him and prepare him to be able to protect himself when I am gone illustrates to me exactly how I was raised. Both my mother and father would always tell me that “Parenting is the toughest job you will ever love.” They could not have been more right.

My mother recently celebrated her 75th birthday, and I am so grateful that she remains with us. My father died 10 years ago this coming November, a pain I will always carry, so to still have my mother and be able to witness her relationship with my son, her firstborn grandson, is the greatest blessing.

I honor my mother every day, but of course Mother’s Day is a time to formally honor her, and to reflect even more deeply on the love I feel for the woman who gave me life. I give thanks and praises for the history of mothering I carry. It is my legacy, and I continue it with my son.

Mi mamá me dio raíces y alas.

My mother gave me roots and wings.

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Bilingual. New Yorker. Multiethnic. Change Agent. Author of “Strength of Soul” (2Leaf Press; University of Chicago Press, April 2019)

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Naomi Raquel

Naomi Raquel

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Bilingual. New Yorker. Multiethnic. Change Agent. Author of “Strength of Soul” (2Leaf Press; University of Chicago Press, April 2019)