It is night here in Colorado. I thought about writing earlier but my husband’s laptop was not working, so I had to lend him mine. Today was a special day. February 10th 1950 my mother was born: AKA La Eli. For those that know my mom, they know she is a whole character. To describe her is impossible. In honor of this date, I write today about her, my mom, my hero. Since I met her I knew she would be my hero because she went through a lot of hard things and still pulled it off. My mom with her 24 years was a single mom in Peru. In those times in 1974, I imagine being a single mother was not easy, but with the support of the family and my mom’s will power, it manifested through the years.
In coming blogs, you will know more about my childhood and how I grew up, but there is no doubt that there were difficult moments and some others not that difficult. Now that I am a mother, I ask myself: “Where did my mom’s strength come from? Did she fake it? Did she have it? How did she do it?” I think I would have been devastated in many moments when we had hard experiences. But I never saw her give up; she made sure to show me that it could be done, and when it couldn’t be done, she taught me to look for help. I guess my mom probably suffered inside, but she gave me the opportunity to believe that life can be wonderful.
In spite of having hard times in our lives, especially the early years, without those moments neither she nor I would be where we are. It is scary to think about that because sometimes I wonder: did we have to go through all of this to be who we are? Do we all have to have hard experiences to grow?
I never saw my mom cry, never heard her gossip, never saw her with boyfriends, never saw her exploding. Don’t think that she never got angry, but she had a particular way of doing it. I never saw her lose it except once that we were in an amusement park: some guys were being disrespectful to some older ladies, and my mom without shame pulled those men by their hair. LOL. I am never going to forget that; we were with my cousin, and we pretended we didn’t know her. That is my mom.
My mom can be the strangest person in the world. She loves her independence and won’t change it for anything or no one. Her comfort is first, and even when she is not that social, I have to tell you that people need her. They tell me they want to talk to her; it is unbelievable how she can be a magnet for many people. My mom is the best mother-in-law. My husband adores her for a very simple reason: she keeps insisting that I need to have more sex with my husband. Yes, my mother and I even talk about that! With my mom you can spend hours talking, and at the same time it can pass years without seeing her.
And my mom is a first class grandma. You might not believe this, but my mom doesn’t like to travel because she wants to travel as a queen, and that is kind of impossible, but she has travelled many times just to be with us. She is such a queen that when she had to come the first time to the United States, she asked: “Hija, could you come and pick me up in Peru?” LOL! Imagine that! We live so far away between Peru and Colorado. I said no way. But I know her so well: she is the queen. So we made a deal, that I would travel to Houston and pick her up and together we would take a flight to Denver.
My mom asked (because she asks everything) in which season was the United States. I told her it was winter. So my mom got ready and travelled. I waited for her in Houston, but I couldn’t find her and started to get worried because we were going to miss the flight to Denver. All of a sudden I heard a woman screaming: “Mi hija! Mi hija!” My mom. When we arrived to Denver for her first time, as soon as we went by a window, she started screaming and said, “What is that in my eyes?” I answered, “Mama, that’s the sun!” And she yelling said: “But you told me it was winter here! In Lima the sun is not out when is winter.” That is my mom, a person that as soon as you see her she makes you laugh, and she is not even trying.
On another occasion when the queen came to Denver, we had a cat. Let’s say that my mom is not an animal lover. Even when she tried and tried to coexist with our cat, she couldn’t, and she came to me and said: “Hija, don’t get upset, but I think it is better if I go to a hotel.” My answer was no, of course not; so who went to the hotel was the cat. When my mom comes to visit, she comes for months, and there is not a day that we don’t laugh. I still don’t understand how she can spend so many hours in a store, but that’s who she is, living the moment.
My mom taught me about the power of your mind. She also would tell me her own opinion and a little while after would say not to listen to her because what she was telling me was not ok. She let me have my own mentality and let me be free. My mom was that kind of mom that would tell her daughter that she wanted to read the newspaper and drink her coffee in peace and later she would play with me. In a certain way, I always saw her putting herself first. And she might think: first? I had to do this and this for you. But to be honest I have to thank her for putting herself first, for not being like those moms that sacrificed themselves so that they are exhausted. That taught me to have love for myself; even if you love your kids, you need to be first to give the best of you.
With my mom there are many times we do not agree, but when we don’t, we respect each other. We have never had a big fight. She taught me to respect in spite of our differences. She taught me to see the positive side of things. She didn’t just tell me to love myself but showed me with her example. Yes, sometimes it has been an inconvenience that she is her and I am me, but in the end our relationship is indescribable; there are not adjectives to describe what it is to be my mom’s daughter. We don’t need to be near to be present, in spite of the distance. It is just a physical distance. I would actually say that with my mom we share a special dimension. We don’t miss each other; we feel that we are together and we get so happy knowing that we will be physically together whenever she comes.
My mom is my breakfast companion when she is here, she is that grandma that doesn’t need any instructions, and she and I keep growing to be better. She on her path and me on mine. My mom has been controversial, rebellious, never stays quiet, and is always direct. As you can see, my mom has been a great influence in who I am. She doesn’t agree with me in many things, and I am sure she would have liked for me to do other things in my life. But at the same time I know she is happy because I am my true self.
The only thing I can say is thank you mom for being who you were, for being who you are, and for letting us be ourselves. Life has rewarded us with this adventure of being mother and daughter, and because I know it can be possible to have that kind of experience with a parent, I really hope I can do the same with my son.