A Special Mother’s Day

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

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69 comments

      1. Maria,,yo se que tu mamá es muy fuerte y va a salir adelante, con la ayuda de Dios y de ustedes que la fortalecen mucho. Un abrazo….Tu tío Javier.

  1. What an inspiring story about your mother! She has the strength of a tiger and the grace of a butterfly. She is lucky to have such an a supportive and lovely family of women around her. My thoughts go out to her as she takes on this next battle.
    xLaura

    1. Laura, thanks for your sweet words. I love the way you put it–she definitely has the strength of a tiger and grace of a butterfly. :) Will be sure to pass that along to her! xo

  2. Your mums story is one of an is an amazingly courageous woman so this is another small battle which will no doubt inspire and encourage other woman. PS What a hottie!

  3. this is so truly touching! i absolutely adore your blog.
    please know that you’ll be kept in my thoughts & prayers. your mom seems so strong & hope all goes well

    1. So glad to hear you love the blog! :) And thank you for your sweet words, thoughts, and prayers. She is SO strong and will be okay. xo

  4. This is so touching Maria, I loved hearing the story and have nothing but positive thoughts and prayers your way! And I must say- she is the original kitten- MEOOOWWW!!

    <3 <3 <3

  5. What a wonderful person! Thank you for sharing your moms story – she is definitely beautiful from the inside out and I’m keeping her and your entire fam in my thoughts/prayers this week love! xo

  6. She seems like such a beautiful lady! You are so lucky to have her and what a fashionista too! Your post made me tear up, so thanks for sharing something so powerful! I love moms!

    1. I definitely get my fashion sense from her! You should see us when we shop together–it’s definitely a good time. :) Thank you for your sweet message. xo

  7. Oh, Maria, what an amazing story about your Mom. Thank you for sharing it. She definitely sounds like a very strong woman. I’m not sure I could ever be as strong faced with all that she has gone through. I wish her the best in a quick and full recovery. If anyone can beat this thing, she can! Big hugs and best wishes to you and your family.

  8. Great work Maria! Your mom is a very beautiful woman and a fighter! I love hearing stories like yours. It reminds me to continue to appreciate what our moms did in order for “us” to have a better quality of life and freedom here in the USA from our Latin America countries during the hard times of internal-chaos and terrorism. Best wishes to her and all of the good people out there that now face the biggest challenge of their lifes —

  9. wow, this definitely made me cry. I am so close to my mom, and can’t imagine what you are going through.
    And that is one of my favorite scriptures you posted.
    Will be praying for your mom. <3
    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

  10. Maria, I’m so sorry to hear about this sad news. Your mom sounds like a tough woman though and I’m sure she will fight through it. I wish you and your family all the best and will be praying for your mom. What a beautiful woman she is!

    1. Hi Natalie! Thanks for your comment. She’s definitely a tough woman and will be 100% better soon, I know it! :) The best thing about my mom is that she’s beautiful inside and out. <3 xo

  11. Martha is a true Colombian & American hero we will keep her in our prayers and wish for a speedy recovery

  12. Your Mom is GORGEOUS, Maria! Thank you for sharing her story of strength. What a journey she and all of your have had. no wonder you are such a warm and loving person. You have got it from your Mom! I will pray for her and may she come through this battle as a winner. Lots and lots of love to you!!! Stay strong. *hugs*

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Tanvi! It’s definitely been a journey, but the journey, no matter how hard it has been, has shaped us to be who we are today so I’m grateful. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. She will come out as a winner! *hugs*

  13. Maria, this post is very touching and beautiful. Your mother seems like an amazing woman and I wish her and your entire family the best during this difficult time.May she have a speedy recovery.. xo

  14. Yes are mums are precious and its stories like these that make you stop and take a moment to think about your own mother.
    My mother is ill and has been slowly wasting away for the past two years and doctors cannot help her situation so its all about management and medication. So much for the quality of life. I pray that your mother will recover and heal.
    Stunning photos.

    fromthekiwigirl :)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry to hear of your mother. My thoughts and wishes are with you and your mom and hope that she is able to be as comfortable as possible.

  15. I just found out your blog and the first thing I thought was how beautiful your mother is! She is a very strong woman and despite the unfortunate events, I know that she will keep battling, especially with all of you to love and support her. I really hope things will turn out for the best for her and that all of this will just be a chapter from the past.
    May God grant her the strength needed and may you and your family find comfort in each other as your mother fights the beast that is Breast Cancer.

    1. Hi Katieta,

      Thanks for visiting the blog and leaving such a beautiful a comment! I can’t wait to be able to put this behind us. God has given her so much strength so far and know that he will guide her through these next few hard months.

      Hope to see you around often!

      1. I am sure He will hear your prayers. And I will be coming back often because I really like your blog already! Hope you are having a great weekend!

  16. Hay María… esta mañana cuando leí esto lloré tanto y aunque no lo creas no por lo del cáncer porqué sé, se pondrá bien, sino por esa historia tan bonita de superación y de amor que solamente las madres amnegadas son capaces de hacer… esos recuerdos, que a veces parecen insignificantes, son tan importantes para los niños y sirven para formar adultos sanos… yo al igual que tú, a mis 40 años, recuerdo con mucho amor todo lo que mi mamá hizo por sus 4 hijos… nunca nos dejó solos, nos enseñó valores, amor a Dios, nos hacía la mejor comida del mundo, nos buscaba a la escuela, nuestros uniformes eran los más limpios de la escuela y se lo agradezco tanto y eso mismo trato de hacer con mi pequeña hija Amanda darle lo único que puedo darle, amor, compresión, educación, presencia y pequeños detalles para que no me olvide nunca y cresca sana y sea un adulto responsable y feliz, por eso me afectó tanto tu escrito… lamento tanto que tu mamá y tus hermanas estén pasando por ese proceso tan dificil, pero sé que estará bien y te prometo ponerla en mis oraciones para que salga pronto de esta etapa y la sigan disfrutando como hasta ahora… un abrazo desde Puerto Rico… ;’-(

    1. Brenda, muchas gracias por tu mensaje tan lindo. Se lo muestre a mi mami y lloro. El amor que las mamas tienen por sus hijos es increible. Ojala yo puedo sentirlo en el futuro y tambien ensenar a mis hijos todo lo que mi mami me enseno. Besos!

  17. Thank you for sharing your mother’s story. She’s beautiful on the inside and out and is full of courage. I hope she can overcome and survive this awful disease.

    1. Thank you so much, Dienna. I have complete faith that she will overcome it, be a survivor and an inspiration for other women battling the same disease.

    1. Hi Eli! Thank you so much for leaving a message and sending prayers her way. She read all of the comments and emails I have received and went into surgery this morning knowing people around the world are wishing and praying for her speedy recovery. This was a difficult blog to publish (I was so anxious about sharing something so personal!), but I’m so glad I did. XO

  18. what a gorgeous mum u have maria! and my best wishes and prayers for her recovery. this blog moved me completely. nothing evil can touch this beautiful life of ur mum. she will be in my prayers from today onwards.

    1. Thank you so much for your message and for your ongoing prayers. My mom and I are both so happy that her story was able to touch so many people across the world. xoxo

  19. your moms story reminds me a lot of my moms. my father passed away when we were young leaving her 3 kids under the age of 13. she also worked 3 jobs a day, cooked, cleaned, and gave us all of the TLC she could. big hug to your mom. i hope this next struggle is able to bring you even closer. xo

  20. Maria,
    What an inspiring and heart-felt post! Not only do we have our Hispanic heritage in common, but also dealing with a loved one battling cancer. You see, not only am I co-owner with my partner of our clothing label BLANDON, I am also an oncology nurse currently working with cancer patients. I experience first hand the struggles and fears my patients and their loved ones face as they battle cancer. Each day I admire the strength I see in my patients and rejoice as I witness the support family and friends offer, unconditionally. As I read your post a second time, I again am witnessing love in action and the support system your mother needs to confront cancer, full strength and force, head on! It is obvious, not only are you beautiful on the outside, but carry that same beauty (and sense of style!) on your heart. You and your family are in our thoughts here at BLANDON. If I can help you with anything during your mother’s treatments/post surgery, please do not hesitate to contact me, mlasa@LBLANDON.com. -Marlon

    PS. With all due respect: Tremendo pollaso, tu mami!

    Martha,
    Primeramente, muchisimo gusto en conocerla atravez del blog de su bellisima hija, Maria. Que lindo es el gran amor que le tiene Maria! Se le nota que la quiere muchisimo atravez de sus palabras. No hay nada como el amor de la familia y amistades en tiempos como el que esta pasando Ud. Me he dado de cuenta con la experiencia que tengo trabajando como enfermero con pacientes de oncologia que el apoyo de la familia y amistades es una gran ayuda y es obvio que Ud tiene este gran amor y apoyo. Esta Ud en nuestros pensamientos aqui en BLANDON y le deseamos todo lo mejor mientras que se recupera y combate su pelea contra el cancer!

    Marlon

    1. Marlon, I can’t even begin to tell you how much your comment means to my mom and I. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! My mom read your message to her and started crying. We’re so grateful for the support and prayers we’re receiving from all over the world and really appreciate your well wishes as she recovers. I will definitely contact you should we have any questions.

      XO

  21. Maria, I am in tears after reading this post. I am amazed by your mother’s story, her strength, and her radiating beauty and love. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers until she overcomes this obstacle (which she will). Much love and mil besos!

  22. Your mama is such a beautiful lady! I can see where you get it! I’m so sorry to hear about this, but I am wishing you and your family all the best. You’ll be in my prayers and I know you will all overcome this! Sending you my love. xoxo <3

  23. My prayers are with you, your mom, and family…you all seem to have an amazing bond and faith in Christ. He will see her through and shes blessed to have you and your sisters :))

    Chioma
    CsEvolutionofStyle.com

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