My mother and a younger version of me playing at the park.

Not long ago, I read a tweet about how important it is to thank the people in our lives who support us. On Twitter, I give a lot of shout-outs to followers but someone I don’t mention enough is my mother. Since my mother is my biggest supporter (and my most honest beta reader, for better or worse😏) and since a special day for the both of us is just around the corner, it seems appropriate to make my mother the subject of this blog post.

It might still seem out of place to discuss my mother on my blog, but she is, in fact, a huge part of my art and writing journey. She always gives me her honest opinion of my work and offers some of the best advice on how to tweak my work to make it stronger. My mother taught me almost everything I know—even by letting me know that I have the power teach myself and providing me the materials I needed to do so. While I might have been born with many talents, they may never have developed so well if not for my mother’s constant support, guidance, and encouragement. By teaching me that I can achieve almost anything I set my mind to with hard work, perseverance, and the right tools to help me, she made so much possible for me.

Until we were separated for a time, my mother read to me every night, inspiring a love of reading in me that continues to influence my life today. When I was three years old, she had me learning how to cook so I could better take care of myself should I ever need to. Whenever I got hurt, she was always there to help me and teach me how to patch up my own wounds. Before I was old enough to attend kindergarten, I knew more than most first graders because she took the time every day to teach me basic math, grammar, phonics, science, and everything else she felt was important for me to learn. Above all, my mother taught me to love and talk to God, or the Great Spirit (one term she often uses for God), without forcing me to conform to any religion.

Her teaching me about God may be the biggest gift she’s given me because it allowed a love into my life that helps get me through everything. Most importantly, I feel the freedom she gave me to decide what I believe made my own relationship with God stronger because it wasn’t forced upon me; I chose it. Furthermore, the way she taught me about God encouraged me to have respect for others’ beliefs even if they clashed with my own. She also taught me to be thankful for what I have, to treat others the way I would want to be treated, and to have a mind of my own. Her guidance helped me find a path to God through my own soul, which also encourages me, personally, to take responsibility for my thoughts and actions.

Because my mother is blunt, honest, and willing to stand up for what she believes in against those who confront her, she’s made a lot of enemies and suffered a lot of injustices. If people took the time to get to know her better, however, they might just catch a glimpse of how I see her. 

Thank you for all you've done and for all you do, Ma. You are one of the hardest workers I know. I love you.