My Mother is My Hero

I am one of the luckiest people in the world, my mother is still alive. I thank God for her every day, she is my hero or heroine I should say. I can’t imagine the pain of not having her by my side. She is my rock, my biggest fan and supporter, my moral center and my best friend.

She had the foresight to take me out of Russia in 1979 when I was nine years old and traveled to a new country with barely any money halfway around the world with a young child for a chance at new and better life. A young woman at the time who left everything and everyone she loved behind. How frightening that must have been.

She has never seen herself as a victim but as a survivor. And that she is. She has survived everything that life has thrown at her and never considers herself a victim. Not after surviving my abusive father, not after surviving heartbreak in relationships.

My mom started working at a company less than a month after we came to the U.S. from Russia 42 years ago and she is still at that company. She is an integral part of it and in my opinion the place couldn’t function right without her and she has survived and adapted to so many things there. She has taught me by her behavior what diligence really is.

We are Jewish and she was born shortly after WWII, so the fact she was born at all is really a miracle.

My mother will be seventy-one years old this May and her birthday is always a week before mother’s day, so I always try to make it special for her on both days. I recently saw a question on Facebook asking “If you could choose your mom again to be your mom would you?” Yes, without a doubt I would choose her again.

Though we had times when we rarely spoke and had a huge rift, back in Russia when I was a kid she dragged me everywhere with her and I’m so glad she did. I got to see so many beautiful places because of her.

At eighteen years old and still in college, she chose to give me life despite already having problems in her marriage to my father. Just a couple years after I was born, her father died in front of her of a heart attack. It was devastating to her, she loved her father dearly. When my grandmother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she was again devastated. Unfortunately, I was off in my own little world and wasn’t there for my mother when she lost her mother. It took me years to forgive myself for it.

But my mother forgave me and sometimes I think she is a saint for all I have put her through and she has survived everything I’ve put her through most of all. No matter what she has always been there for me.

My mother has truly taught me what unconditional love is not only because she forgives me for so many hurtful things but because she has taught me tolerance of people and their shortcomings. She has taught me so many lessons in life about acceptance and love. Sometimes I think we were sisters or twins in a past life because now we have such a deep connection that we joke we are sharing the last brain cell we have left and she often tells me I take the words out of her mouth before she can say them. Now, not a day goes by that we don’t talk on the phone.

Mom, if you’re reading this and I know that you will, please know that despite all the blame I laid on you for how my life turned out, you should know that there is no one in the world who has ever meant more to me than you do and the day I can’t hear your voice will be the most heartbreaking day of my life. And please know that I am happy with my life because you have taught me that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and to be grateful every day for what I have and not what I don’t have and to stop comparing myself to other people.

You have taught me so many lessons in life and for you I am so grateful, my mistakes are not your mistakes. I love you with every cell in me.

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