An Ode to Ma

I recently read a beautifully written blog post about a woman describing her mother’s hands. She wrote about the importance of remembering your mom’s hands because one day they would be gone forever and all that would be left is your memory of these hands. I can’t seem to find that original post, but it touched me and inspired me to write about my mom.

I am blessed to have two amazing parents; they are my greatest gifts. Over the past few months, Mr. ShuGar and I have been extremely busy with life and all its demands. As a result, I haven’t seen my family as much as I would like.  I saw my mom a few weeks ago and I saw her a little differently. It’s strange what kind of perspective time will give you.  I know my mom is not 40 years old any more, but I always thought she was ageless. She has to be in my mind; I would die without her. This last time I saw her, she changed. She’s older now; time is creeping up on her.  Please make it stop.

My mom is currently visiting family in Mexico and I probably won’t see her for a while. I miss her. I am a part of her, as much as I try to fight it sometimes. I write this post to stay connected to her and for her to know I carry her in my heart, siempre (always). I want to document my feelings for the woman who gave me life.

My Ma is a petite Mexican woman, but don’t let her size fool you. She’s one tough cookie, filled with immeasurable strength and unconditional love. She has dedicated her entire life to being a mother. The sacrifices she has made are boundless, but she has done them happily for all for us (my dad, my sister and myself).

She has the cutest sideburns, which remind me of Elvis Presley – she claims they are still in style. Her shoe size is  4 and I probably weighed more than her starting in junior high.  My mom, although bilingual, only speaks to me in Spanish, except when she is mad. Her raspy voice soothes me like nothing in this world; it takes me back to age 6 when lying in her arms was my respite. Till this day, I still like taking a nap while laying my head on her chest. She lulls me to sleep by reading me a book in Spanish, much like she did when I was younger, and I inevitably doze off. There is absolutely nothing more peaceful than listening to my mom read me stories in Spanish. It’s probably why I love writing.  She taught me from a very young age to love words.

My mom and I have had our disagreements in my adult life.  I am very outspoken and willful; I believe I learned that from her.  It’s funny because sometimes we’ll be talking on the phone and raising our voices at each other and Mr. ShuGar will ask, “Is everything ok?” I respond, “Yeah, it’s how we talk to each other. It’s our normal.” However, I acknowledge I have said some hurtful words and I know they have caused her pain. I wish I could take those words back. Why do we hurt those we love the most?  I am sorry for the past, for the present and for the future.  I am all grown up now and I may do things you don’t agree with, but I still love you.

My Ma is my best traveling buddy. We have had so much fun traveling in South America. She becomes so free and adventurous. I will cherish our traveling memories forever. I know my love of travel started with her and my Abuelito.

And, of course, my mom’s hands are precious.  They too have aged because of all her dish-washing, cooking and the dreaded arthritis. But, her hands are still so beautiful. Even now, I walk hand in hand with her and get stares from people. It must be unusual to see a mother and her grown daughter show this kind of public affection, but, again, it’s my normal.

Her cooking is beyond delicious and I have tried many times to replicate her recipes, but fail. I can never measure up to my Ma. She towers above all women, including myself.

Hopefully, one day, I will be a mother, too. I think then I will understand why you said those things or acted that way. I am scared to not be even remotely as amazing as you. But what terrifies me is to one day lose you. I could not breathe without you.

Ma- you are my angel.

I thank you for showing me what unconditional love feels like and for loving me for who I am.  You feed my soul and define my heart.  Te quiero hoy y siempre ( I love you today and always).

Ma All Smiles

Ma All Smiles