My Mother and Father's last day together.

Happy Mother’s Day.

My mom always holds a very dear spot in my heart, as I’m sure most moms do in their children’s hearts .

While growing up in a new (to me) country and culture, my wise mother often had to calm my spirit and sooth my wounded soul. I was homesick for my grandfather’s farm and missed my animal friends. The new friends and acquaintances I was making were often puzzling and some were also bullies. As a five year old, I was at the same time struggling to settle into my new surroundings, and wishing I didn’t have to.

Today I realise that as a then 35 year old woman with 4 children under 10, and not speaking or understanding a word of French or English, my mom had far more challenges. But she was fiercely determined to succeed in her new home and adopted country. She had no choice. She had convinced my father to leave his comfortable position in Spain; and uproot all the family for a possibly better future in Montreal, Canada. Her fiercely Spanish pride would never allow her to admit defeat and return back as a failed immigrant.

Growing older and hopefully also wiser, I began to appreciate my parent’s struggles and successes. They both worked hard, scrimped and saved to buy a home in the suburbs, while never denying us any of our necessities. We were always well dressed, fed healthy and nourishing food, and yearly went to the New Jersey or Maryland beaches.

Today, as a 91 year old great-grandmother and head of a wide spread clan of five children in three continents, my mother is still the wisest woman I know and love.

As I reflect on the significance of this holiday, my thoughts always turn to the year 2004. Shortly after Father’s Day on that year, and one day after this photo was taken, my father died.  So while I celebrate my mom’s special day, I know she is also a widow.


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