The Greatest of All Time


It’s not her birthday.

It’s not Mother’s Day.

I’m not trying to get back in her good graces after messing up.

This is simply an appreciation post to the greatest of all time, my mom Bernadette.

My mom has always been my rock. She’s been the only parent that I could depend on for everything and anything. Even though my father wasn’t in the picture, she never made it feel like someone was missing. She’s been the perfect parent and made me feel loved.

Often, I wonder how differently my life would be if I didn’t have her as my mom. I couldn’t picture anyone else showing me how to navigate through life. She’s shown me how to do so with faith, class, and strength.

It amazes me how strong she is. She’s been through more than I would ever know. Even through her toughest times, she has persevered. In 1995, my mom made the decision to move to the city that never sleeps. Leaving all that she knew behind, she moved to America to give her children the opportunities she never had. Without spousal support, she walked tall with two children by her side and one in the oven (me). I don’t know how she managed taking care of my siblings and I by herself, on top of being new to the country. She figured out things fast and made the transition easy for the family.

What I admire most about my mom is her giving spirit. I’ve never seen someone so willing to help family, friends, or strangers. It’s something that’s definitely in her nature. A couple of years ago, we were traveling back home from an event. A lady came on the train and sat next to my mom and I. She asked us for directions and my mom told her what stop to get off at. The conversation turned from strangers interacting to something more personal. The lady seemed to be crying before she came on the train and my mom recognized that. She asked if everything was ok. The lady confided in my mom and told her that she was dealing with the loss of her boyfriend. It was the reason she was in town. Instantly, my mom gave the lady a hug and consoled her for the entire train ride. Giving goes far beyond material things. Time, advice, and compassion can be far more valuable to someone in need. That’s exactly what my mom gave to the woman on the train. It’s what she needed in that moment and my mom was there to help.

Education is a big deal in my family. My mom always stressed the importance of it. As a child, I wanted to become a pediatrician but when I became older, another profession had my heart. I thought my mom would be disappointed that I didn’t want to go into the medical field anymore but she wasn’t. She remained supportive and even more so than she was before. She saw the passion I had for journalism and that made her even happier for me. Any decision that I make regarding my career, she’s 100% behind me. For my biggest accomplishments so far, my mom has shown how proud she is. That’s all I could ask for.

Day in and day out, I see how hard my mom works. She leaves pretty early in the morning and comes in late at night. Despite how tired she is, I never heard her complain once. She wakes up every morning determined and ready to greet the day. I know she’s making sacrifices of working as hard as she does.

I always tell my mom, “Ma, when I’m older, I’ll buy you a nice house and a car. Ok?” She always replies, “Don’t worry about that. Just focus on getting an education that will make me happy.” Even though I want to repay my mom for all she’s done for me, the truth is I can’t. There’s no amount of money or presents that will equal her worth. So instead, I use something that’s priceless, my words. I’ve realized it’s no use waiting until holidays to tell someone how much you appreciate them. Every day, at any time is the perfect opportunity to show gratitude to the ones that got you where you are today. So Mom, I thank you for setting the perfect example of class, strength, and dignity in a woman. You set the right footsteps for me to follow. You’re the greatest of all time.