This tribute is dedicated to my mom, who is one of the greatest people I know. She grew up in Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s. Her childhood was difficult. Her family was poor and made due with the few resources they had. Their house was provided through her father’s job, so they were unable to move or to change their surroundings. The neighborhood was rough and not a nice place for children to grow and learn. She woke up once with the chalk outline of a body on the front stoop.
Even with these challenges, she never complained in order to make life easier for her parents. They were immigrants and faced the challenges of assimilating with American culture along with living in poverty and in a poor neighborhood. My mom and her two brothers were children and acted imperfectly, but together they all tried to make life easier for their parents. They took public transportation and rode bikes through the city to get to school and to part time jobs. My mom got into a private school that provided her a better education. However, she never felt like she fit in with the wealthy kids at the school and she could never escape the negative associations of receiving a scholarship. She would go with her mother across town to buy brand clothing at a secondhand store to try to reduce the differences between her and the other children.
My mom’s cultural struggles at her private school paid off when she was accepted to Stanford University. She graduated and headed to California to study biology. Months later, her dad lost his job and their house. Her family was forced to relocate to Ohio, and my mom wasn’t able to continue at Stanford because she couldn’t take on the debt. She went to Ohio to join her family.
My mom was resilient and practical, and she began classes at a local community college while working a part time job to help pay for her family’s bills. She transferred to Ohio State University and earned a bachelor’s in biology before becoming a speech therapist. She currently works with children to help improve their speech and their futures.
I am always amazed by my mom’s complicated past and the obstacles she had to overcome. She lived in a tough part of Chicago, lived in relative poverty, and still fought for a great education that she earned on her own merit. She helped her parents, who faced additional challenges as immigrants, during her childhood by supporting them emotionally. Later in life, she made many sacrifices to help her parents financially and she was resilient enough to create a new future for herself after her previous plans dissolved. In present day, she gives back to her community and to children by helping them overcome their own challenges.
Now, my mom is a dedicated, passionate, strong person who helps those around her.
She is an amazing mother and person and I’m so thankful to be a part of her life.
Tagged under# Friends # Mothers