Sunday, 7 April 2013

My Mentor: My Mom

Dear Mom,

Normally I make you a card every year on Mother’s Day with my horrible artistic skills, but this year I want to do something different. I’ve been given the opportunity to let the world know how much your strength and determination for a better life and your unending love and support has impacted me and helped turn me into the woman I am today. I commend you each day of my life for the many compromises, sacrifices and difficult decisions you had to make during your time here in Canada.

It has been 34 years since you came to this ‘foreign land,’ married dad and attempted to begin your new life in hopes of gaining a better future. On many occasions, you remind me of what you left behind in Guyana and what you had to go through; the fact that you used to sell in the market during the hot hours of the morning to make a few dollars and the fact that you had the opportunity to go to school for a short period of time. I could never begin to imagine how hard it was for you to make those very difficult decisions – but you made them, and you stayed strong and determined to turn this into a better life. After you got married you had kids and instead of going to work, you became a stay-at-home mom.

I’ve heard stories about how you were bullied while you used to walk Dee home from school, because we were the only “brown” family in our area. I’ve heard how the children and their parents would throw snow balls at you and tell you to “go back home”, yet not even then did you give up. When I was younger, I took everything for granted and I didn’t realise how much you had to sacrifice to buy me what I wanted. But as I got older, I started realising how much you did have to give up. You gave up your education, you gave up a ‘way of life,’ and more importantly, you gave up gratifying yourself to put a smile on our face. Mom, you never shopped for yourself. You’ve always made do with what you had, and you always remained content. Now I’m 22 and I’m exposed to so many atrocities that are happening against women worldwide, and it makes me think about how blessed I am to have you with me. Children grow up without mothers because their mothers have become victims of violence. They become orphans because their surviving parent chooses to have nothing to do with them, or they get forced into a life of violence and unending pain – they ultimately lack in feeling a mother’s true love.

Mom, you’ve always showered unending love onto me; you’ve always given me so much support and strength when I had to go through my share of struggles; and you always reminded me of how important it is to remain determined when we want to accomplish something. I can never forget the look on your face when I told you I want to start my own non-profit organization to help women who are victims of violence and children who are victims of bullying. I can never forget the look on your face when I told you I wanted to go to India with Aunty, to build homes for underprivileged children and families who have been victimized by violence and forced prostitution. I can never forget the look on your face when I graduated from University. They all had one thing in common – the look of love that was pouring out of your heart. I’m sure you were afraid, but you knew that if I was determined to do those things, there was no stopping me – more importantly, you stuck by my side in my decisions and gave me the support I needed as a woman to make those decisions.

There are no words to describe the ways in which you have helped me – all I can say is, I am the woman I am because of your love and support (ofcourse thanks to you as well Daddy!). My way of repaying you, will be to help as many women and children that I can possibly help in the world. I want to give every child the sense of love and support that you have given to me all these years. I want to give every woman the opportunity to make a better life for themselves the way that you gave me and Dee by coming to Canada. More importantly, I want to share with everyone all that you’ve shared with me – the gift to find their place in the world, because without you mom, I wouldn’t be here.

I love you always mom.

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