“There’s no way that I could pay you back, but the plan is to show you that I understand. You are appreciated. Dear mama, you are appreciated.”
I’ve been into Tupac music lately. It resonates with me for a few reasons. Especially this song. I haven’t hugged my mom from a jail cell, granted. My mom doesn’t use crack either. But “when I was young me and my mama had beefs,” and–you know, there are so many other lyrics that just describe my feelings about my mom so damn well. Maybe everybody has those times and those things they more or less blame their mom for, I don’t know. The thing is, as the song pretty much says, we owe our moms so deeply. No matter what’s said, what happens, for most of us… there is just nothing that can separate a child from its mother. The love we have–at least the love that I have, for my mother cannot be severed. “I appreciate how you raised me, and all the extra love that you gave me…”
This isn’t all about Tupac though. Today I declared my major in physics, as I wrote about a little earlier. I received encouragement about my University of California application, which led me to actually work a lot on it… the writing prompt for the transfer application asks you to talk about your major, experiences you might have in the field, and how your interest developed.
Well, when I got thinking about it, I realized more and more how much I owe my parents and uncle, especially Mom, for getting me into this. How many other kids from my neighborhood ever even made it to college? (Not that college is better than any path, but certainly it is a path that more people would choose if they weren’t inhibited by poverty.) How many of those kids were smarter than me, more creative, etc., but they never had a mom to talk about science and philosophy and everything with? I don’t know. All I know is that my parents never finished high school, yet they are two of the most intelligent people I have ever known. All I know is the hundreds of science, math, classics, and literature books that I grew up with. All I know is my mom and dad never talking to me like a baby — always challenging me intellectually. All I know is the hours-long conversations my mom and I had on the telephone when she had to work in New York, about the elegance of mathematics, or reconciling belief in Creation and evolution, or the “how” vs. “why” questions, and so much more.
When I think more of it… without even detailing so many more things my parents did for me that got me where I am today… my parents have always been so proud of me when I did nothing that they should be proud of. It isn’t unlike the fact that God loves us not for our merits, but because that is his nature. So I have an earnest desire that I am only now trying to articulate… an earnest desire to become worthy of my parents pride, and, as we pray in Mass, that “we may merit to be coheirs to eternal life,” and may praise and glorify God.
I made sure to tell Mother some of this on the telephone today. God has heard my prayers, and knows I am trying to be a better daughter. AHhh. Now I conclude, as my air conditioner is broken, but I have a temporary one in a different room! If you’re reading this, go call your mother! You have time because you’re just screwing around on the Internet!