Upon moving out of my parents home in September of 1991, I became very appreciative of my mom’s sacrifices. During my childhood I never realized we were in a low-income demographic. As a child I never was deprived of basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter. It was only later in adulthood did I learn of that sometimes my mother sacrificed some of her own meals for me.
I grew up during a time when children were not exposed to the adult world with regard to household expenses. It was my job as a child to be just that a child. Learning and having fun were the main things that were required of me. Worrying about late notices and whether we would have gas to cook was not my problem. Even when I was attending the University of Illinois at Chicago and suggested I could go part-time to help with household expenses; my mother gave me a disapproving look and advised “my job was to earn my Bachelors degree”.
Being that I was an only child some may think I was spoiled but quite the contrary. I understood the reality that my parents were far from wealthy. Even with the abundance of school clothes, I received courtesy of my grandmother I still was conscious of this reality. My best memory regarding this is 1976 when I needed a new coat. Due to a very cold winter the only place we found a suitable coat was a specialty teen shop. I glanced the price tag $65; which was a lot in those days and said it was too much. My mom simply replied, “you need a coat”. I was able to wear the coat for three winters.
Finally, I am still in awe of my late mother and all she did for me. I was blessed to be raised in a two parent household. However, my father was sometimes between jobs and my mother would take up the slack to make ends meet. Still the best part of my memories is the love my mom gave me from my birth to day she left this earthly realm. Thank you mommy, I am filled with your love.