I have one story and one memory of my mom that has molded my perception of the world.
She was a refugee of her country that would continue to be at war ten years after she left. Two days of being a resident here, she took her first job at a factory making bras. Every work day, she stood at the bus stop at 5 am to be in downtown by 8 am. This work ethic continues on close to her retirement age.
My mom had to be the working mom, but in the summers, she took a few weeks off to spend it with us. I remember walking the clothes racks of Palais Royal (one of her favorite stores back in the day) buying much of nothing for herself (my mom was in need of a wardrobe update. She wore outdated, tapered jeans with some very mom reeboks), but usually, letting us choose something for ourselves.
Today on her birthday, I’m thankful for everything she is to us and the person she aspires to be. I want to choose to be honest, diligent and enterprising when times are difficult. I want to give without expecting. I want to be selfless like her.