When I was around 7 years old, I recall asking my mom, “why do we always have some rice or potatoes, a green vegetable, and meat?” She responded, “because that makes up a balanced meal.” It is a lesson that I still carry with me today. When I cook or eat out I make sure to have a starch, green vegetable and a protein. It was after her death that I realized some of the sacrifices she made for me. My mom would sometimes eat two pieces of bread and some canned peaches for dinner. This she did so that I could have the leftovers from the night before. She made it seem like it was something she really wanted to eat at the time but as an adult I now know better.
Today, is primary election day in my state and my mom’s birthday. I learned a long time ago in my home state in the Midwest that voting was important. My parents taught by example that your vote is your voice and staying silent was never ever ever an option. In addition, we not only voted in my family we actively volunteered on campaigns or within organizations. Being an activist is woven in my DNA, it is truly who I am. My late mother was active within her community. She volunteered at church but one of the main things I remember is her volunteering with the County Election Commission, helping to count absentee ballots.
I have written a whole blog about being kind, which is what my mom taught me. But being kind doesn’t mean being gullible or letting people step on you or over you. I recently had a situation where I believe someone was rude, we differ on the situation, but I chose to speak my mind. Most people don’t intend to be rude but when it is perceived, and someone confronts you with it then acknowledge it gracefully. This is something my mother did well she would call out bad or rude behavior because “holding onto grudges is not good for your health.”
I was blessed to have a grown up in a two-parent household. There were struggles and hard times but there are far more good memories than unhappy ones. This primary election day I will carry the memory of my mom with me and the passion of being an activist. We teach our children by our example of what is important. My mom taught me that being part of the political process was important and my right as a United States citizen. I am my mother’s only child, but I carry in me her legacy of doing what is right and I hope that I touch others with her message of being active. I miss her dearly, but I carry her spirit with me each and every day.