Thought I would make it, but I did not. It has been six years since I have seen my mother. I miss her. Every year I simply break down in tears while thinking of how tough her life was. If you know me, then you know my nickname should be "hard worker" - But Mother made me look like a slacker. She worked two jobs to feed five kids as a single mother most of her life. I used to be a cashier when I was about 12 after school at the Earl's Bar & Grill on Broadway in Santa Ana, where she was a coffeeshop waitress. While I was in high school we both were serving coffee and eggs at the Parasol Restaurant in the Orange Mall. I worked 2 to 10 after school on weekdays and 5 p.m. to 4:00 am. (yes, 11-hour shift) on the weekends (dinner and bar-rush tips) ...I miss rolling our quarters to pay the rent. She was only 16 when I was in the works, so we were more like friends, than mother/daughter. I used to resent that. Now that she gone, I understand more and more how much we needed each other and I miss her needing me. I moved out at 15 with a fake ID and got my own apartment with a roommate.
I have worked since I was 11 years of age (you could lie back then about your age) from DK Donuts to Earls, Denny's CoCos... Mother did the same. She finished nursing school in her early 40s.
On this day, my wish is to say THANK YOU to my mother for teaching me to stand on my own two feet! My fight with cancer twice was a fight that must have been in my DNA from mother. I never gave up, and neither did she.
The darker demon I fought was alcohol, something my poor mother was tortured by all her life. If she did not marry one, live with one, or give birth to one, she was surrounded by alcoholics. And I cannot imagine how tough it must have been for her to wonder where I was, dead or alive. My early years I watched her being beaten up by an alcoholic for her car keys and wallet. But she would do anything for her kids, when she could. I would climb out of the window and use a neighbor's phone to the call the police. But it never stopped. The fighting, the blood, her tears. Police could not do much.
My mother ran way from an orphanage when she was in high school in a small town in Missouri. Happiness was a dream she always chased. I guess that is why she loved Christmas so much...her own little fantasy of lights, and cookies, and laughing kids near a tree (or two) lol..
This one day a year, I cannot help but wonder, as my tears won't stop falling, if she ever found that happiness?
Maybe this is why on holidays I feel more comfortable working and being alone. Maybe this is how I am still with my hard-working mother. I am just okay with that.
I found happiness in my family, riding a bike, and having a career I absolutely love. I am so blessed. Mother always told me I could do anything and she was proud of me....you know what? She was right!
So if you wonder why I work so much or why I like to ride my bike up mountains until my legs are falling off and I am ready to puke...well, as my good friend AJ Sura says..."because I can" - (non-edited or proofread because I do that for a living) If I dropped a word, you can read between the lines...because this is my heart on this page, not about a typo -:)
I love you, mother, and I am taking your ashes to Europe me in July, because you never got to go there!