Mother’s Day: An ode to my mom

By Lilianna Angel

In celebration of Mother’s Day, I want to share some wisdom that my mom, Anna Angel, has passed down to me that I believe everyone should hear at least once in their life. I am forever grateful for the valuable lessons she has imparted to me, as her unwavering resilience and determination have left an undeniable mark on my heart and soul.

From a young age, my mom’s selflessness showed through as she strived to give my siblings and me the best life possible. Sacrificing her own education, she embarked on a journey of nurturing and supporting her parents. At 13 years old, she entered the workforce, even lying about her age to secure a job at a local fish and chips restaurant. With an admirable sense of responsibility, she helped provide food for her five siblings, all while navigating the challenges of an incomplete education. These stories taught me the importance of perseverance and helping others. 

Despite the absence of a high school diploma, my mom defied the odds and embarked on a career path, taking on a multitude of odd jobs, including being a DWP clerk, a saleswoman, a dental office assistant, and even owning a payphone company. Her tireless efforts to make ends-meet while single-handedly caring for my brother served as a testament to her unwavering dedication. When my older brother was little, my mom tirelessly worked two to three jobs a day, juggling her responsibilities. She woke up at the crack of dawn, to deliver newspapers with my brother in the car, seamlessly transitioning to her next job at 7:00 a.m., and continuing the relentless cycle until late evening, all while surviving on minimal sleep.

Nevertheless, my mom’s unyielding spirit refused to settle for anything less than her dreams. Determined to enhance her knowledge and skills, she pursued an associate’s degree in business and established her first business venture: a payphone company. This dream shifted over the years as society changed from the original payphone company to a restaurant to her current catering service. My mom continuously embraces new ventures and never allows life’s challenges to hinder her indomitable spirit.

My mom taught me the importance of living life on my own terms and not allowing others to define my worth. She encouraged me to embrace my authentic self and never apologize for it. As long as I treat others with kindness and respect, there is no need to be ashamed of who I am. Through her guidance, she instilled in me the valuable virtues of confidence and standing up for myself. She taught me that if I truly believed in something, it was essential to take a stand and make my voice heard.

However, last year, my entire world was shaken when my mom, my hero, received a devastating diagnosis of ovarian and uterine cancer. The fear that engulfed me was overpowering, but her strength prevailed, and she emerged victorious. I am eternally grateful for her triumph over such a formidable foe. Yet, this year brought a new challenge as she was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. I know that my mom possesses the resilience and determination to conquer this battle as well. Her unwavering spirit remains unbreakable, a flame that illuminates the darkest of paths.

Through her experiences with cancer, my mom taught me the most important lesson, that life is fragile and should never be taken for granted. It is a reminder to cherish every moment with our loved ones, for we never know what the future holds. This Mother’s Day, as I look back at the wisdom bestowed upon me by my remarkable mom, I urge everyone to embrace the lessons learned from their maternal figures and celebrate them with all the love and appreciation they deserve. Each day, let’s remind them of our love, for life’s uncertainties serve as poignant reminders of the preciousness of every passing moment.

To my mom, the epitome of strength, resilience, and love I am forever grateful. Your determination has shaped me into the person I am today. On this Mother’s Day, and every day, I honor you, not only as a mother but as a beacon of inspiration. Thank you for your love, guidance, and presence in my life. I love you beyond measure.

In this heartfelt ode to all mothers, let’s carry their wisdom in our hearts, embrace their love, and never cease to cherish the beautiful connections that define our lives.