What defines a soldier?

As I put my keys on the center piece table I asked my mother what she had for dinner today. “Oh I drank the green juice.” What she meant was Naked Juice. The store bought juice that is a cocktail of green fruits and vegetables. Immediately I got aggravated.

“C’mon Mom. Let’s go get something to eat.” I will not accept my mother succumbing to another meal of juice or plain wheat bread. Granted I only make the minimum wage and have so many things I’d like to with my money. But my mother comes first.

“Okay. Where do you want to go?” She agreed without hesitation. And a change in the tone of her voice to melancholic to enthusiastic.

January 31 2013. I will never forget this day. I have lived with my mother by myself for a while now and have been great at reading her. From the recycled dialogue of “How was work Mom?” “The usual, tired as always.” When I pick her up at 11 pm in the customer service jail that she has been in the past ten years because in her own words “there is no one else that will help us out..What can I do?” ;  to seeing her only eating bread and a simple carbohydrate drink usually containing an abundance of sugar for her own taste buds. I will not accept this as the life for my 62 year old mother.

My mom is seriously the strongest woman I know. From giving up college to take care of her children yet not succumbing to being a complete housewife. She woke up every day at dusk to sell eggs or fish door to door and businesses in our neighborhood. She makes sure her kids are taken care of before herself. Granted, she gives up time on taking care of herself to take care of her children and her grandchildren. She lost one of her six children to murder at 23 years old, and five years later lost her husband of 34 years from the monstrous disease of colon cancer.

If anything, my mom deserves a purple heart.

Long were the days when I was selfish and rebellious for mourning the loss of my father. Now comes a genesis of the person that was destined for greatness.

“In life we are given two hands, one to help ourselves and one to help other people.” my idol, Audrey Hepburn.

Although my dream is to build a school in a poor city in the Philippines. I shall first focus on the current issue: my mother. A soldier who has a strong yet fragile heart who never ceases to please those she loves.

 

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