You learn the value of independence. You don’t need a man to save you or anyone to take care of you, you learn by example that you are capable of living a full and happy life without having to share it with someone else. You learn that you can build a home, raise kids, cook, and do the dishes all while having a thriving career. You pretty much learn how to be super woman.
You learn the meaning of unconditional love. You saw your mom sacrifice her time, health and youth for you and your siblings, yet she never complained or gloated about how much she is suffering or how much she is doing. She always had a smile on her face and was happily giving more and more of herself. She taught you what selfless and unconditional love looks like, and you know you won’t be able to find that love anywhere else.
You learn how to love yourself. You learn how to walk away from the things that are not meant for you, you learn how to keep going even when the whole world is against you, and you learn how to believe in yourself when everyone is doubting you. You learn that bad grades, heart breaks and failures don’t define you; what defines you is how you bounce back from all the setbacks and how hard you fight for the life you want.
You learn that you can be both strong and soft. Strong mothers are usually very sensitive they just hide it better, but you saw your mom silently cry over your pain, or stay up all night taking care of you when you were sick, or the nights she couldn’t sleep because something was troubling you. The way she hugs you when you are down shows unmatched compassion and tenderness and sometimes in a quiet corner you saw her shed a few tears.
You learn that it’s not easy being a woman. You learn that your opinion will be discounted, that you will be taken lightly when you’re being serious, but you will also learn that you can stand out in a crowd and force everyone to listen to your voice and accept your ideas. You learn that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
You learn never to look back. You learn to let all the “what ifs” and “could have beens” go. You learn not to look back and wonder why life turned upside down. You just keep looking forward and let the past redeem itself. You learn that everything that happened got you to where you belong even if it is nothing you ever wished for.
You learn the importance of patience and faith. You learn that God is looking out for you and your struggles, that everything will be OK in the end. Storms will pass and tomorrow is a new day. You learn to be patient with life, patient with timing, patient with success and patient with problems. You learn that patience is strength.
You learn how to create your own happiness. You can find happiness in a difficult life. You can still be happy even if you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. My mom taught me that I can always find something to smile about all I have to do is look closer.
You learn that she still knows more about love than you do. Even when you are generations apart, even if you are not fond of her love choices, if she doesn’t approve of someone you better listen to her. She knows what she is saying; moreover, she doesn’t want to see you get heartbroken. As much as I hate to admit it, she got it right every time.
You learn how to be a good mother. You’ve been raised by a mom who showed you how to truly take care of a family, who showed you that hard work pays off, who showed you that you can love someone unconditionally. She showed you how to be protective, loving, kind, compassionate, strong and resilient. She was leading by example, and whether you know it or not, you are following in her footsteps one step at a time. TC mark
Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book All The Words I Should Have Said,available here.