From Heartbreak to Happiness

Growing up, I never knew what it was like to truly struggle. I never knew what it was like to have parents fight all the time, or grow up with a parent with an addiction. Unfortunately, children go through this every day. My mom was one of those children. However, she chose not to let her childhood affect her, but to empower her to be a different, stronger human being. Even though her childhood might not have been absolutely perfect, she strives to make every child’s life better every day. She is also one of the reasons we had a great childhood; she did not want us to go through the same heartaches that she had to endure. While some moms will only do the bare minimum for their family, my mom always goes above and beyond.

As my mom grew up, she learned many lessons from her family members that made her want to strive for more for her family someday. Her father battled with alcoholism for most of his life, and made her terrified to ride with him, or anyone for that matter who has drank alcohol. Her freshman year of high school, my mom and the rest of her family had to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with her dad. There, she was told she had a 99.9 percent chance of being an alcoholic too. My mom has held on to that .1 percent her entire life and has never given in. Several years later, both my mom and my grandpa had a second-chance to repair their relationship and finally retain that father-daughter bond. 

Her father-figure for most of her life was her step-dad, Al, or as everyone in my family would come to know him, Papo. Papo was there for every part of her life, from her first steps, to her first words, to her volleyball games; he was there. Even after the divorce of her mom and Papo, he would still come to everything of hers. Their divorce devastated my mom, but it made her realize that Papo and her mom were different people together, and that they were much better apart. Papo taught my mom many valuable life lessons; such as: you do not need a lot to have a lot, every new day is precious, and loving everyone is the most important valuable that you can give to this world. When I asked my mom, “Who inspires you the most?” Without even a second thought, my mom looked at me with tears in her eyes and a smile, and simply responded with “Papo.” Papo was her best friend, and my mom was there with him every day until he passed away, even to his last breath; she was there. Even though he’s since passed, everyone in my family, especially my mom, remember his bright smile. 

Everyday my mom reminds me of how much worse other kids have it than us. She’ll say, “You’re lucky you had a great childhood, because many children cannot say the same.” My mom loves to work with people of all ages, but nothing could ever match how much she loves working with young children. She started her own daycare business and loved it; us daughters loved it too because it was like we had ten other brothers and sisters to play with. After doing daycare for ten years, she decided it was time to move on to a different age group; high school kids. She became the Para for the Spanish classroom and got the chance to impact those kids’ life as well. Her kids always had a lot of respect for her, and always talk about how they miss her. I constantly will get a text from one of her students back in Ellis saying, “Please tell your mom to come back because she was the best!” After moving to Cheney, she got the job as a Para for the kindergarten classrooms. There, she loved it because again, she was working with kids. She then merged into the secretary job, which she loves more than ever. She not only gets to work with kids, but she gets to stay organized and busy. 

Another way she impacts lives is through her many organizations she is involved in. She keeps busy by being involved in everything from church to volunteering in surrounding areas around Cheney. My mom is a social butterfly, and loves getting to meet and get to know new people. She loves to see people come together for the common good, and getting to see the smile on people’s face after. Improving others’ lives is a value my mom instilled in me at a young age, and I enjoy volunteering as well.

Family has always been the number one priority in my mom’s life. After my mom’s rocky childhood, she did not want the same for her family. My mom and my dad were high school sweethearts, and they share a deep love for each other. She admires his patience, even in the most challenging times. She is also very involved in her three daughters’ lives. With three busy schedules to keep track of, she always makes sure she is at everything, accompanied by her famous camera. She believes it is necessary to be involved in her children’s lives because her mom really has no pictures of her growing up and Papo always made the effort to be there for her games and important events. My mom knew she did not want her kids to experience the devastation that divorce brings, so she built her relationship with my dad based on faith from the beginning. Both my parents believe that faith is the key to a strong marriage, and family.

How has my mom impacted my life? Besides consistently being asked if we are twins, my mom has made me a better person. She has shown me what it’s like to be a strong, resilient person. I know I could not have gone through the battles my mom had to go through; and I’m thankful for growing up in the loving household I did. My mom has taught me what it is like to help others. Not just through volunteering and through generally just showing compassion and love for other. My mom inspires me, and so many others just by being the person she is. The mark she has left on this world is not just a scratch; it is a bold line. 

Everyone has struggles they face in life. How those struggles affect you impact how you live the rest of your life. I’m so grateful that my mom chose not to let the challenges she faced in her childhood dictate how she was going to be as an adult. From her childhood to her involvement in the community to her love for our family, my mom is one of my biggest inspirations and role models. I am truly thankful I have a mom that goes above and beyond.