My mom, Martha.
Mother’s Day is always a special time of the year; a moment to reflect on and to be grateful for my relationship with my mom, my best friend. But this year, Mother’s Day has taken on even bigger meaning. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago. Her battle to fight this ugly disease begins tomorrow morning, as she goes in for a lumpectomy. I’ve asked for her permission to share her story with you to help spread awareness and encourage you to please get checked regularly.
My mom has always been a fighter. We moved to the United States from Colombia when I was six years old seeking political asylum as we left our beautiful country that was being torn apart by violence and drugs. A few months prior to moving to the US, my grandfather was kidnapped and held for ransom by Colombia’s terrorist organization, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Knowing our family’s involvement in the Colombian government and the danger we were in, my parents made the quick decision to move out of the country. A few months after we moved, the FARC kidnapped my aunt and uncle. They are safe now, but only after escaping days before their planned executions.
Shortly after we moved, my mom and dad separated and he and moved back to Colombia. Being able to break away from the years of physical and mental abuse that he put her through is one of the first memories I have where I’ve witnessed just how strong of a woman my mom is.
So there we were: my mom, three sisters and I in a foreign country. None of us knew how to speak English and we had only a few relatives in the area. But my mom didn’t give up. She somehow managed to work three jobs every day, take us to school every morning, pick us up from school every afternoon, had dinner on the table every evening, and kissed us goodnight every night.
And now, twenty years later, she’s facing yet another hurdle and another battle to survive. And while I know that she has a difficult few months ahead, I can sleep a little easier knowing that she has the love and complete support of my step-dad, sisters and I. After all, she raised us to be strong women like her and we will all be there to beat cancer together starting tomorrow. Te amo, Mami!
“Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”- Deuteronomy 31:6