I've entered another blog-off for breast cancer competition. Each Thursday, 21 bloggers will be given a new word prompt and from that will build a post. The first week's word is "Survivor," which immediately caused me to think of my mother and not because she likes the TV show, which she does, but because she truly is a survivor and has instilled her strength into me (I hope).
My mother now owns her own business, I can say that proudly knowing it is all to her credit, while remembering how she was once a single working mother worrying about paying the bills and giving me all that she could. She's also one of the happiest, upbeat people you'd ever meet, yet it's hard to believe that given her past or that so much strength lies behind those manicured hands and bright smile.
She has survived: a severly alcoholic mother; her father deserting them when she was five; being put in an abusive foster home when the state of NY took her away from her mother, younger sister and half brothers at the age of 10 due to being malnourished.
Instead of being a victim to her surroundings though and staying in the system, she went to business school and like always dusted herself off, still smiling and seemingly unfazed.
I always felt that if someone has had such a shitty childhood they should at least be rewarded later on, but instead my mom endured more pain, the worse being the loss of her three-year-old daughter, Serina, and experiencing every parent's nightmare. I still don't know how she survived that one, especially when she tells me stories about that week and the funeral, and my dad's resulting demise. Being a baby at the time my mother once again was the strong one and took care of me 100% while grieving and going through a divorce, all without child support too.
Despite being a single working and grieving mother, I never remember her crying or complaining but always smiling and being silly. She even went from being a secretary to director of HR while also coming home and taking care of me and still discoing it up in the later hours.
Even now, she is going through yet another blow, and surprise, surprise; she's dealing with that winningly too. She is a survivor, she gets through it and even more surprisingly, she never sulks about her hardships, but still acts like a happy school girl always enjoying life despite the bad times and still dolling out love.
I once said to her "Mom, you've had such a hard life." She then said very sternly and emphatically, "I've had a great life Tara, remember that, I've had a great life!"
So no matter what I go through or have gone through, I've always looked at my mother's strength as a model and inspiration.
I'm a survivor, I'm not gonna give up, I'm not gon' stop, I'm gonna work harder, I'm a survivor, I'm gonna make it, I will survive, Keep on survivin -- Destiny's Child