I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It felt as if I had lived this moment before. Something about the way she spoke and the question she asked, made me think back to when I was a little girl. As a young girl, I always wanted to know why my mother loved me so much, and why it was so easy for her to make certain sacrifices in her life for me. I vividly remember asking my mom, “Why do you love me so much?” In a soft, tender voice and with a big passionate smile, she replied, “You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.” I didn’t completely understand what she meant at the time; however, something about the way she looked at me, and the tone of her voice as she said those words made me feel unique. She added, “Someday, when you have children of your own, you’ll understand why my love for you is infinite, and why I will do anything for you.”
Then it happened. I found out that I was pregnant. I immediately was filled with so much joy and a variety of emotions. Love was at the top of the list. I was astonished by this sense of fulfillment. I quietly wondered to myself how this could be. How could I love this baby that’s inside of me when I hadn’t even met her yet? Suddenly, I could hear those words that my mom said so many years ago. The moment seemed almost surreal with the realization that this is what my mother must have felt for me. I broke down and began to cry.
Even though my child was still a fetus, I began doing everything necessary to protect her. I even changed my lifestyle. It was as if I had taken on a new identity, with a new purpose in life. I couldn’t wait to meet her. I wondered who she would look like. Would she resemble me? Would her smile be just like my mom’s? My entire life was shifting in so many different directions, and because she was inside of me, it was okay. I found myself reading and singing to my unborn child. I even imagined us playing in the park and getting our nails done together at the beauty parlor.
The words that my mom had spoken to me in the past played over and over in my mind. So this is what it means to love somebody unconditionally. I was no longer Reea, alone, I was soon to be a mom. That meant everything to me. This realization came with great responsibility; but, I was ready. My daughter was born on Saturday, October 12, 1996, at10:55 a.m., weighing 7 pounds and 5 ounces. She seemed to be smiling just like my mom. I began to cry. She was everything I hoped for, and everything I needed. A few years later, I welcomed my son, her brother.
A mother’s love is so divine and yet it is very natural. It is in a category all by itself. It is long suffering, blameless and pure. As a mom, my role is constantly changing. I am a nurse, a teacher, a friend, a lawyer, a role-model, a super hero….and much more. It gives me great pleasure to be all that and more for my children. I can see through their eyes how much they love me too. I can say with certainty that the feelings are mutual. Our love for each other is unique and special. You may even say it’s a designer’s original.
As a mom, my emotions are like a roller-coaster. I laugh when my kids laugh and cry when they cry. My heart feels pain when they are in pain. I would go hungry if it meant that they would be fed. I would die if it meant that they would live. Then once again, I remember the sacrifices my mom made for me. She quit school to have me and got married at a young age to give me stability. She gave up so many opportunities in the name of love. Finally, it all made sense.
As older folks would say, “Life is a cycle, what goes around comes around.” A few years ago my daughter asked me the very same question that I once asked my mom, “Why do you love me so much?” I told her with a smile on my face and with love in my heart, that “…one day, you would be asked that same question from your child.” My daughter laughed and said “silly mommy,” but I know that someday she too will experience a mother’s love.