There are a million memories floating around in this mind to ever fully understand all the lessons that Mom taught me. There are a thousand more I have learned from all the moms that I have been blessed to know.  So in commemoration of all the strong, giving, and always-loving women in my life (and in this world) I offer you 5 lessons I’ve learned from Mom.

Lesson # 1- Family

Mom taught me from an early age the meaning and importance of family.  I have witnessed her love come to fruition in so many ways, not just with her own children, but with her brothers, sisters, friends, and step-children.  Heck – she’s even shown motherly love to many of my friends.

It is because of Mom I recognize that family is always family. And that even friends can be family.

It is by Mom’s example that I know how to love the people in my life and treat everyone with the same respect and kindness that I would show to my own flesh and blood.

Lesson # 2 – Forgiveness

Look…I’m not going to lie. I’ve made a lot of mistakes.  I won’t go into details, but I’m honest enough to admit that I’ve done my fair share of booboos.

Yet, despite being cabezudo.  Regardless of my failings and faults.  I’ve had a mom who’s been willing to stick by my side through it all. And I’ve seen that same love a million times over in my aunts and their children.  It seems that in this world Mom can’t help but to forgive.  And that forgiveness is par none.

“Mother is the name for God in lips and hearts of little children.”

Lesson # 3 – Loyalty

Mom still tells me stories about friends she had 30 years ago.  Stories about other women who knew what loyalty and kindness were in moments of need.  Mom has spoken to me about moments in time you don’t forget and names you will never be able to erase from your memory.

Perhaps Mom has been loyal to a fault.  But that’s a great and beautiful thing to see in this world of meaningless “Likes”.

Loyalty doesn’t come easy.  It’s a long and treacherous road to travel along. Yet, for those who are in the know, loyalty is one of the true treasures in love and friendship.

Lesson# 4 – Strength

I broke my arm in front of my mom.  Gave myself a 22-stich scar on my face in front my mom (she did warn me though).  In fact my mom took me to the Emergency Room 4 times when I was a kid.

And I never saw her panic.

Even during the worse conditions she never let on that she was scared.  She never said how tired she was despite working full time and taking care of a house-full of children.

Despite having 4 teenage boys, 1 teenage girl, one amazingly intelligent, creative, humorous and unique child (*ha*), and a husband living under one roof, she never let on to how worried she was.

And I will never understand that.

I will never fully understand the strength she had moving from city to city.  From state to state. From one place to another without friends or family to ease the transition.

But she did it.

My mom is probably the strongest person I know.  And I’m stuck in this life hoping to be 1% as strong as she has been.

Lesson # 5 – Sacrifice

Mom told me once that she went years without buying any clothes.

What am I to say to that? Thank you?

Should I say thank you to all my tias who still treat me like a king to this day?

Will roses, rings, jewelry, food, gifts, and songs ever truly suffice?

Will these words?

I’m stuck here writing something that will never match up to how much Mom has taught me.  I’ll struggle through a million more before I can ever catch up to even one day in her life.

So…to Mom who is my own personal angel…to all my tia’s who taught me more than they will ever know…to Ida…and Mrs. Romero…Tina and Ange…Alma…Jess…Mrs. Uribe…and all the mothers in the RGV…Happy Mothers Day…God Bless…