Dear Mom…

When I was about ten years old my mom got very sick. They took her to a hospital in a different city and my dad went with her, never leaving her side. So my sister who was six, my little brother who was only one and I stayed at my grandparents’ house. It was for a few months, and I never really knew how close my mom had been to death until a few years later. Every doctor she had thought she’d die. One of my uncles who was a doctor called my grandma so she’d be prepared for her death. And they let her come home for Christmas not because they thought she was healthy enough to leave the hospital, but because they thought it’d be the last time she could see us.

It was until recently that my mom told me a story of the one time she was about to die. She says she woke up in a place so bright and full of light, it was impossible to see what was there. There was so much light she could barely open her eyes. But something was pulling her towards a light even brighter. And as she got closer and closer to the light, she felt more relaxed. She felt happier. Lighter. But then something stopped her. Something that felt like a thread pulling her finger, pulling her back to the ground. And then, a voice: “don’t go yet, don’t let go”. Even though it was a long and hard process, my mom got better, and she’s healthier than she’s ever been. Not even her doctors can believe she’s alive. Needless to say, her faith grew even stronger.

I don’t think I relate to just one religion in specific. I think I am in the process of learning, and believing. But I do know miracles happen. That moment right there, that night before Christmas when I walked into my parents’ room after months of being away from home and I saw my skinny, unrecognizable mother laying on the bed; that moment when she weakly smiled at us, that was my miracle. The fact that I can still run to her in tears every time I get my heart broken, or that she can still be the first person I call when something good happens to me, that is my everyday miracle. We take people for granted. We take moments for granted. I don’t look at her everyday thinking she’s my miracle, but I should. No one has sacrificed more in this life for me and my happiness than her. She gave up her biggest dreams so I could have dreams of my own. She dimmed her light, stepped back and has been watching me shine my entire life. Without complaining. The love of a mother is unconditional. Its roots are so rooted in our hearts that even when we argue, even when we walk away angry at the stuff they say, we always go back to them. We always go back to a mother. They are home.

My mom comes from a family of 16 siblings. Yes, my great-grandmother had 16 kids in total. My grandmother is the oldest. And my mom was raised there, at her grandparents’ house; most of her uncles and aunts are like her own siblings, even though she’s an only child (I know, my family is confusing).

My great-grandmother passed away last month. She was almost 100 years old. She had been sick for a long time, and had been in and out of hospitals for years. As I was sitting there, at her funeral, thinking of how much our life as a family was going to change now that she was gone, I started to think of how much our lives had changed because of her. Relatives came from everywhere. Different places in Mexico, and different cities in the States. I met new relatives that I had never even heard about. And the family keeps growing more and more. I think is beautiful that so many people (more than 100 for sure) can say that this woman had an impact on their lives. She was our strongest root. She’s left a legacy of values that has been spread and keeps spreading all across our entire family tree. She taught us to stay humble, but never let anyone step on us. And the most important lesson she taught us was the importance of a family that sticks together. We are too many in our family, so of course there are misunderstandings and fights every once in a while, but we always try to stay afloat. And that’s one of the of the reasons why I’m so thankful I got to be her great-granddaughter. Not only did she give me a huge, strong family, she gave me a strong mother too. Who at the same time has been making me strong since the day I was born.

So thank you to every mother who fights everyday to keep their families together. Thank you for making your kids strong, but also humble and kind. To all the moms out there, you truly do run the world.

And to my mom, thank you for being my strength, my confidence and my wings; my biggest wish is to someday give you at least half of what you’ve given me.

This is a photo I took from a homemade video of my mom playing with me when I was only five months old.

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