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My Hero

Today I am talking about my hero. She doesn’t fly, wear a costume and a cape. She hasn’t saved the world from catastrophes or jumped off tall buildings to rescue a gentleman in distress. I’m not talking about Wonder Woman, Supergirl, or Oprah for that matter.

I’m talking about someone who’s a living, breathing (not that Oprah doesn’t do all those, but you know what I mean) inspiration to me.

I’m talking about my mom.

You see, my mom had me, the eldest of 6 children, at the tender age of 19. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for her. How afraid she must have been. How uncertain of her future. I remember her telling us that the one thing she regretted about her unplanned pregnancy at so young an age, was the fact that she knew she hurt her own mother. But she never regretted having any of us. She loves us, and we know this not only because she tells us every time. We know this because love, for her, is an action word. She lives love. She breathes love.

She was a stay-at-home mom until I reached 6th grade, there were only 4 of us kids then. She would take care of us, cook, do the laundry, get us ready for school, pack our lunches, take us to and from school, make sure we did our homework, clean the house – the quintessential hands-on mom and wife. Then when she decided to join the workforce, she did so with the same fervor with which she managed our household. She worked hard (and still does), but still managed to be as much a part of our daily lives as she used to. The twins were born when I was 14, and added a whole other crazy into the mix. But it was a good crazy. When I was young I took all that she did for granted, as ashamed as I am to admit that. Now that I have my own family, I am amazed at how she managed to do this all for us and stayed sane.

But this isn’t all that she is. She patiently sat with us at the table as we did our homework. She rarely raised her voice, or her hand to us. Even then, we always felt that she was coming from a place of love. She prayed with us, taught us songs (she even played the guitar!) and good-naturedly endured our endless questions. In the case of 2 of my sisters, they really were endless (Ahem, you know who you are). 😉

She never spoiled us. She was honest with us and told us that we couldn’t have what we wanted because we just couldn’t afford it. And none of us grew up to resent that. In fact, she taught us to be satisfied with what we had and to be thankful for every blessing, big or small, by her example. I cannot remember a time that she whined or complained about ‘our lack’, or stewed when she didn’t get her way. She was always so gracious and kind and genuinely happy no matter our circumstance. She would worry, oh that she would. She is, after all, human.

She disciplined us and set boundaries, and yes, there were days during my teens that I felt she was ruining my life, how could she be so unfair and totally uncool? There was the oft-repeated “When you grow up and have kids of your own, you’ll know I was right” or “You’ll thank me one day”. To which we rolled our eyes when her back was turned and vehemently and secretly disagreed. (A side note to the twins: She is right and you will thank her one day!)

During the dark days of my college years, I withdrew from my parents. And what I regret about that is the time I lost getting to know my mother better. I know she grieved for me, for our family. I saw it in her eyes. But I was a stubborn, angry, hard-hearted daughter who thankfully had a prayerful mother who never gave up on me. Who never gave up on us.

“A mother’s prayers mark her family with faith and trust in God. Her overflow of mercy and grace is a reminder that Jesus is the ‘author and finisher’ of the family’s faith. The fruit from her prayers personify Christ’s character, and hell clamors at the calm requests from a mom who trusts God. They pray for their children to obey and worship the Lord, and for their husbands to fear God, hate sin and love people. A mom’s prayer matters.” ( Boyd Bailey, Wisdom Hunters)

And we were given another chance.

2005 marked the beginning of a new relationship between me and my mother. I drew closer to her in a time of familial distress. In our less than ideal circumstances, we prayed together, our tears mingling in our tightly-clasped hands. As she cried out to God, I didn’t see a weak woman who had let her obstacles defeat her, I saw a woman strengthened by her faith. I saw a woman strengthened by her love.

During the following years, I would get to know an intimate side to my mother. We would whisper in the dark, long after the whole house has gone to sleep, sharing our dreams, our visions for the future of our family. We would swap stories and giggle like schoolgirls at the silliest things that happened during our busy workday. Often, she would fall asleep in the middle of our conversation out of exhaustion, and we would pick up the next night.

One of the things I would never forget is how she prayed for our would-be wives and husbands. She would lift us up, her kids, one by one in prayer and ask that God will give us the patience to wait for and direct our paths to the men and women He has chosen for us. And in my case, asked that God will bless my relationship with my then-boyfriend.

And so it came as no surprise to her the night I came home with a ring on my finger and told her of our engagement. The days and nights leading up to my wedding were a flurry of happy activity. But beneath it all, I was mourning the end of those nights shared with my mom – all to live with a boy.

Even now, as I mother my own daughter, I look to her for advice when uncertainty creeps in. I am eternally grateful to my mom for all that she is and all that she does.

To borrow lyrics from Brian Melo’s song “Half as Good as You” (which I have not heard):

Who’s watching over you
While you’re helping me find my way
All the things that I went through
I thank God that I met you
I hope the day comes soon
When I’m half as good as you

Mom, your very act of love, each and every day inspires me to do great, to be great. I look forward to the day that I can say I’m half as good a mom to my Little Miss as you are to us, and wife to My Man as you are to Dad. I love you, Mom.


From left to right: My sisters C, CJ, Mom, Me and my sister J

Written as part of MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop for the prompt: Describe a woman who inspired you.

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  • Joy

    This entry made me cry… because I feel the same way about my mother.
    My recent post Farewell Daycare

    • Sorry I made you cry Joy. If it's any consolation, I made myself cry too. Haha.

  • Touching post!
    You mom is so beautiful. I can relate to your post. I guess all mom's are full of love and demand nothing in return.

    • Thanks Tarunita! Yes, I see the moms in our family and just stand amazed at all the love they have to give.

  • I can't imagine any better way to know the love your mother had for you than having your own daughter. It's really special to be on both ends of the relationship and fully understand it. This is such a lovely post and you are so blessed to have these people in your life!
    My recent post Kindergarten accommodations

    • Thank you Joey. Yes! It is wonderful to truly understand where my mom has been coming from all these years. I cannot thank God more for my family – all of them! 🙂

  • Oh, Cyrene, such a beautiful tribute to your mom! We have all learned over time that our mother's gave the best advice they could, and that we could either learn from it or toss it away. But once those seeds were planted, they grew in us, yes? You are a sweet, sweet daughter whom I'm sure was a great blessing to your mother, also… yes, you surely were, look at the loving words you wrote. God love you, child. ♥
    My recent post i’m a messy gramma

    • Your words made me teary-eyed at 9am! Hahaha. Thank you Diana! <3

  • Shannon

    lovely post! Thanks for stopping by today! I'm glad I'm not the only one who enjoys thrift store chic!

    • Thank you for stopping by too Shannon! Oh yes, <3 thrift store chic. 😉

  • Moms are awesome! I seriously don't know what I would do without mine!

    • I know right! They are gifts from God, seriously.

  • Hi Cyrene, beautifully written as always, what a blessing to have your Mom be your friend … and she looks like one of your sisters … gorgeous group you are!

    • Thank you Nicole! I can assure you that she will be pleased with your last sentence. LOL. 🙂

  • Chilie

    Every word in this entry is so brought back both happy and sad memories and made me realize how much mom has inspired each of our lives in the most loving way that she can.

    Thank you sis for taking the time to write this. It made me realize that we too as mothers can do the things that she did in raising us and face life's challenges in faith and come out as victors.

    We love you ma and we cannot thank you enough for all that you have done and sacrificed for us.

    • You're welcome. I'm thankful that I am able to express my heartfelt thanks to Mom this way. I know all 6 of us share the same sentiment! 🙂

  • Joel C. David

    This is awesome! And what is awesome about it, is that your mom (my sister) will be able appreciate it. Sometimes we fail to thank people (our mom for that matter) and appreciate what they do for us while they are still with us, and then later regret because they are no longer with us. Love them. Thank them. Appreciate them. Be grateful for them. I'm so proud of all of you guys. God bless all of you. And God bless all the moms in the world for what they have done!

    • Thank you Ninong! We so often take the time that we have with our loved ones for granted and sadly, like you said, fail to thank them while they are still with us. We count ourselves blessed to have this time with our loved ones (that's all of you!) and be able to tell you all how much we love and thank you. I say it every time – I thank God for blessing me with such a great, loving family. God bless you too. 😀

  • A mom to 4 girls! Just like me! What a beautiful tribute! I know she treasures your words of affirmation!

    • Hi Stacey, yes she certainly had her hands full with us and our two brothers! 😉 Thank you! Your posts at ModSquad are definitely treasured as well.

  • startraci

    Cyrene,____You have me bawling! What an incredible way to celebrate the love of mothers! Thank you for these beautiful words and reminding me how important mothers really are — we are our children's superheroes!____:-)__Traci

  • Such a beautiful family you have! I'm so glad your mom waited patiently for you to come back to her. I think it's normal for kids to want to get away and spread their wings. My mom is my hero too so I totally get this!
    My recent post Blog Conferences- Philly

    • I thank God everyday that she did, too! Our relationship sure grew stronger from that point on. Thanks so much for stopping by, Mama Kat!

      P.S. – Is it weird that I am completely, I don't know, bowled over that you commented on my blog? LOL. I believe 'starstruck' is the word I would use to describe it. 🙂

  • First of all…Cyrene, I have been meaning to visit your blog for weeks now. I am so glad that I finally did! It sounds like we have a lot in common, even though we are continents apart. Your mom sounds amazing. The way you describes her actually reminds me a lot of my mom. We are both very blessed to have mothers who serve God and pray for their children daily.

    Thank you so much for reading my blog, and I will be avidly following yours as well from here on out! Have a great week!
    My recent post Mindset Monday- Whitewashed

    • I'm honored that you visited my blog! The reason why I'm drawn to your blog is that I feel we have lots in common, too, and I'm glad you think the same. 🙂 Cheers for great mothers!! We definitely have big shoes to fill huh?

      Thank you so much Kate! Have a great week as well.

  • Aww! What a beautiful tribute!! Moms are a wonderful and mysterious creature (for lack of better word). You don't really understand them until you truly start living a life of your own. It's good that you and your mother have been able to connect on a deeper level since you reached adulthood. Tweeting this out for TMT! Beautifully put!

    • Completely wonderful and mysterious, yes! Moms have their work cut out for them, that's for sure. I have come to realize a lot more about my mom since becoming one myself. I'm so thankful that my mom is living out a great example for me and my siblings. 🙂 Thanks Kristen!

  • What a wonderful testimony of your mom's love for God, for you, and for your family – what a great legacy she will leave someday (hopefully a long time from now 🙂 ), when she heads home to heaven. And what a wonderful example for you to follow in – which you are doing. Your family memories are a treasure for all of you and will be lovely inspiration to many for years to come. Thank you for sharing them. 🙂
    My recent post Fall Fun and Easy Crafts and Activities for Boomers- Seniors- and Grandchildren

  • What a lovely, lovely tribute to your mother. We should all have our children write so beautifully about us.

  • Thank you Cheryl! I know, right? We can't be perfect (my mom certainly isn't). But we can strive to be the kind of parents our children, especially in these times, need.

  • Robert

    Happy Mother’s day Hun! Love you!
    I hope you’ll get a spare time to write again.

  • Buchi

    Now that’s what I call a fantastic hero. The justice leaguers only comes in times of distress. Yours has always been there! Can clearly see the core of all of it… the fire that makes it work… the notes of that chorus… ummmm, yahhh, the thing that makes the world go round… love. Can’t be contained, just flows from the hero. You’re a lucky victim!