If only she had lived the life I live. If only she could have been as fortunate growing up as I am. If only she knew how much she has impacted my everyday life.
At the age of two, my mother’s father left. Her mother was left alone to support herself and two children under the age of five. This was not easy; she worked a full-time job as a middle school teacher. Her mother’s goal was to simply provide the necessities for her two children. Being a single mother was mentally and physically exhausting. As time went on, her mother dated many guys, all of whom were not good enough for her. Then one day, everything changed.
Her mother met the guy of her dreams. A guy who was dedicated to her two children. A guy who was devoted to making all three of them happy. A guy who made life easier. His name was Jim Taylor. Jim was a practicing lawyer in Orlando, Florida. Within a year, Jim married her mother and adopted her two children. He was the life of the party. Jim and her mother had another child, a boy. When my mother was in high school, everything changed again.
Jim and her mother got divorced. Their once happy family was no more. It destroyed my mother. Once again, her mother was left alone to provide for her children; now three instead of two. My mother was the ideal child. She worked hard in school and graduated as the valedictorian of her high school class. Once it was time to go to college, she went to Florida State University where her mother and father had both gone.
My mother wanted to be a lawyer just like her father. Her dreams came true. She went to law school and became a family lawyer. She was motivated by her unstable upbringing. She worked all the time, and I mean all the time. I remember her staying up through the night. I remember her kissing me goodbye in the morning and not seeing her until the next day. I remember feeling like I was the only one whose mother did not come to dance recitals, tennis matches, and school lunches. I remember feeling alone.
But, as I have grown up, I have realized that she did all of that for me. For me to live the life she could not live. I am so lucky. But, I should have done more for her. I should have assured her that it was okay for her to not attend my performances because after all, when she worked, she worked for me.
I will never forget the countless times you stayed up all night to give me exactly what I wanted. I will always be trying to make you proud. I will always look up to you. I will never stop loving you. And, I will always be proud to call you my mom.