THINGS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME

 The author and her mom, Guyana. ca. 1992

The author and her mom, Guyana.
ca. 1992

Editor's Notes

I learned strength from my mother. She told me stories of her childhood, so there was no guessing of the life she lived before my father. I knew at a young age, that she dropped out of school, at the age of 16, to work so that she could contribute to her household. In addition to that, she woke up at 3 a.m to begin her daily chores.

My mother taught me to always be kind to others, no matter what they say or do to you. She told me that angry and jealous people are usually sad on the inside. Though she was picked on by my paternal grandmother and aunts, she never once hesitated to take care of grandma whenever she was sick. She told me that being kind is its own reward.

Photographs have a way of transporting us back to the exact place and time they were taken. In the photo above, we were on our way to visit her mother who lived in another village. I remember her curling my hair and the excitement I felt when I saw my new denim outfit. My mother always knew exactly what I would like, and tried her best to get it for me. On our way to get a taxi, we saw the local photographer, and he took this photo. At the time, it meant nothing, but now it’s a summation of my childhood: one that was fleeting as it was eventful.

Some people say that I look like my mother. That’s a great compliment. What they don’t know is that I strive to be as loving, kind, forgiving, and generous as she is. Everyday.