What My Mom Means to Me

I could have just written an email to my mom. I could have just sent this to her. But I want everyone to know just how much my mom means to me on this Mother’s Day. When you are 10,000 miles from home, in a hot and foreign land, suddenly Mom becomes so much more.

Last year, my mom and I took a fabulous vacation from Los Angeles to Seattle by train. It was an amazing experience that I will forever treasure. Last year in September, my mom came to visit me and help me pack my apartment in preparation for leaving for the Peace Corps. And then on October 4th, two days before my mom’s birthday, my mom, her bf, and myself enjoyed one of the best meals I ever had.

2011 was one of the best years of my life. I worked for an amazing advertising agency. I made incredible new friends. I found out I was invited to join the Peace Corps (after two years of applying). I spent two months eating lots of great food. I arrived in Ghana to begin my Peace Corps adventure on my mom’s birthday. I became a Peace Corps Volunteer on December 15. I made new friends here in Ghana. And I started working on an important project with SAP Research. But most of all, in 2011, I had wonderful experiences with my mom. I made great memories with my mom.

Now that I am so far from my mom, I realize how much I truly rely on her. If I need advice, a lecture, cooking tips, tax information, a phone hug, inspiration, or a caring voice telling me not what I want to hear, but what I need, I talk to my mom. It doesn’t matter how old I get, I always find myself at some point thinking or saying “I want my mommy!” My mom knows exactly how to get me back on track. Talking to my mom is like talking to my soul. She knows what’s inside me and how to unlock my full potential.

My mom and I have this special connection. I think it is esp, but maybe my mom and I are really just the same soul connected to each other somehow. We have this uncanny ability to sense when we need to talk to each other. I remember I used to get busy signals every time I called my mom because she would be calling me at the same moment. She will be pressing send on an email asking me questions when I am calling her at that same moment to answer the questions I don’t know she has posed. Even with a 10,000 mile difference, we are still able to pick up each other’s wavelength.

My mom is always there for me. If I just need to call her and cry, to just let it all out. She just sits there and listens. In Ghana, it makes for an expensive cry. If I just want to call her to chat. She just listens to me ramble on about Africa this, Peace Corps that. There have been times when I have called my mom curled up in a ball crying my eyes out on my kitchen floor or on the edge of my bed. She always makes time for me. She always helps me through the rough patches.

How do you define mom? I think of it like the difference between a house and a home. A mother is someone who gives birth to a child. A mom is someone who gives up everything and devotes their entire being to her child. A mom is a presence. A mom radiates warmth, love, and caring. A mom is someone who never lets you settle. A mom pushes you to be better, stronger, independent. A mom prepares you for the world, then lets you step out into it so that you can fall and pick yourself back up. A mom is everything you need, most of what you want, and never what you want to hear. A mom is always right, always.

My mom is everything to me. She is the first rain after the hot season. She is the banku to my peppe. She is the first step out of a 10 hour long tro ride. She is the care package that arrives exactly on the day you need it the most. She has always helped me through the rough times. Through the broken engagement, the goodbyes that you never want to come, the typhoid fever, the broken collar bone, the awful German professor, the homesickness that was Germany, the emotions of Peace Corps, the terrible job, the heartbreaks, the stressful college classes, and the little things in between. My mom has been there to cheer for me during the happy moments. She has been there to beam at me during the important moments. She has been there to calm me down during my ridiculous freak outs over stupid things like how to cook rice.

My mom used to sing me this song. She has been singing it to me since I was a tiny little baby. Whenever I am far away and want to feel my mom’s love, I sing it to myself. It doesn’t matter if I am half a world away, my mom is always there inside me. Talking to her is like getting a big hug over the phone.

What does my mom mean to me? The world.

Christmas 98

Happy Mother’s Day Mom.

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