My mother will never know how much she means to me. No matter how many times I tell her, no matter how many coffees I buy her, she’ll never know, because not even I know how much. Only God knows how much because only God knows how far infinity goes, and that’s how much I love my mother.
Moving to South Hadley was a sharp reminder of how important my mom is to me. When things got rough and all I wanted to do was cry, there was an added pang: all I wanted to do was cry in the arms of my mother. And I couldn’t because she was two thousand miles away. That only made me want to cry more. And I would.
I love my mother so much that when she starts talking about moving to Western Massachusetts, a nightmare scenario for many, if not most, students, I beam. I love my mother so much that sometimes I call her just to hear her voice and have to scramble to find something to say since she doesn’t like calls and wants to hang up. I love my mother so much that even when she’s yelling at me, I have to try really hard not to smile because I just get so happy I have a mom who cares enough to yell. I love my mother so much that I can barely write about how much I love her since it brings tears to my eyes because I miss her so much.
My mother is amazing because she is one of the smartest people I know. At only 16 years old, she moved out of my grandparents’ house and went on to one of the best medical schools in our homeland of Brazil. She worked for over 20 years as an anesthesiologist before she moved to America, taking people’s pain away just like she does mine. Every time I get the slightest cut or rash I always send her a picture and ask what it is about. She doesn’t always know the answer, because moms are still human, but she always tells me it’s okay and it’ll go away. It always goes away.
Besides always answering any medical question I have as a curious little pre-med, she is the smartest person ever when it comes to life itself. My best friend and I have this running joke that my mom has “the vision”, meaning that she sees everything, even what is concealed. Whenever I need advice, whether it be on boyfriends, school, or something as small as where to eat in Amherst, I go to my mother. She always gives me insight I didn’t have before and I come out a better person than before. Every time I don’t listen to her advice, things don’t go well. She has the vision. She just knows things.
Additionally, my mom is awfully strong. She is NOT best friends with her mom by any means. She could’ve let that ruin our relationship forever and continue the cycle of generational trauma, but she chose to break it instead. That took guts. It took leaving for America with no one beside her, no plan, no support system, and no daughters, as my sister and I would only leave Brazil two years later. She told no one she was leaving except me, my sister, and my dad; she knew people would try to make her stay and my mom cares about others with all her heart. She would’ve stayed for them, but she had to leave for her own good, for my sister and me. And so she did. Every time I’m going through rough times, I remember my mother on that plane, having no idea what was going to happen, and I’m reminded that strength is in my blood. I long to one day be half as strong as my mother. I long to one day be half the woman she is.
It wasn’t always like this between us. A few years ago, I would fantasize about buying a bus ticket anywhere and disappearing so I wouldn’t have to live with her anymore. Those days are long gone. Now, I dream of buying a train ticket home so I can watch Netflix and Big Brother Brasil with her for hours and then go out to dinner. When I look back and think of all the fights and bad times we had, I wonder how it all happened, how we got here, and how we became best friends. Then I realize I don’t care. All I care about is my mom is my best friend. And she always will be.
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