Be You Conversations: My Mom
By: Nicki Patel | 6.20.18
Emotional, yet the rock. Tired, but keeps going. Worried, but full of hope. Impatient, yet patient. Overwhelmed, but never quits. Amazing, even though doubted. Wonderful, even in the chaos. Life changer, every single day.
Where to begin?! My mom has believed in me more than I believed/believe in myself. She has done more for me than she has done for herself. She has worried about me more than I realize. She has prayed for me more than I will ever know. She has valued me more than anything else in the world. She has given me more than I can afford. She has loved me more than anyone else can and ever will. She matters more to me than the words I can express.
My mom is the first person I loved with all my heart, and the one who taught me what 100% real, raw love really is. She is the fiercest, most courageous, dedicated, and loving woman I know. Her sacrifices from early childhood to having to raise not only her kids, but my father’s siblings is unreal. She has been through the worst and I mean cancer and back, but has only shined brighter than the stars, giving more than she gets and asking for nothing in return. I remember following her along, holding on to her with all my might as a kid (like literally ya’ll I wouldn’t let go). No matter how much time passes, I will forever hold on to her because she is my superhero, my everything, and when she smiles, it lights up the world.
My mom was born in Luanshya, Zambia. She spent majority of her childhood split between Zambia and India for education while her parents stayed behind in Zambia. Similar to my dad, it was common back then in Zambia to send your kids abroad to get a better education, and this is what her parents believed. While in college, her parents forced her into an arranged marriage. At the time, this was also very common and almost a custom. At only 23, my mom was really adamant about finishing college so her parent’s proposed to allow her to finish after marriage. My dad’s father wasn’t too happy about this, and my mom wasn’t allowed to finish college. Once married, her and my dad lived in Zambia running a small retail shop. She was forced into a life of domestic engineering; caring for my father’s parents, cooking, cleaning, and helping manage the store. My parents stayed in Zambia, until my mom’s father brought them to America for better opportunity and life as Zambia began to fall with social and political wars. My parents hustled until they were able to own their own hotel where they had my two elder sisters, took care of my dad’s siblings, and my grandparents. My mom gave birth to my eldest sister at only 25. At only 25, she was managing a household, raising her own kids, raising her husband’s siblings, taking care of my grandparents, cooking, cleaning, and working at the hotel. My parents worked 15-18 hours a day to keep food on the table and support the family. After sometime, the hotel hit a tough spot, and my father was at the brink of filing for bankruptcy. As my father set out to find a new business, my mom single-handedly held down fort and the family together with little to no respect from the family and a heart full of courage and love. My father found a cleaners in New Braunfels and moved my sisters and mom to the city where I was later born. She hustled and worked just as hard as my dad making sure we had food on the table and a roof over our head. She continued to raise not only my sisters and I, but took care of my grandparents and my dad’s siblings. The reason my sisters and I are the independent women we are today is solely because of the strength of my mom’s back and the courage and love in her heart. She has been through hell and back, but has always and continues to instill in us that family always comes first, and to give more than you get.
What is your favorite food/dish (because I love FOOD)?
What does it mean to you to be you in a world of others?
It means helping the people around me, giving unconditional love, and leaving a positive impact on my family and the world. Remember to always give more than you get.
What is one piece of advice you would give you younger self – about life, career, hopes/dreams, anything?
Life is short, live it to the fullest while achieving your own goals, dreams and ambitions. Think and plan for old age. Try to understand people who are down, and lift them up. What is human life for if we can’t help others?
What would you tell someone who is trying/struggling to find themselves in the chaos/noise of the world?
Even if you struggle, don’t give up, work hard, and have faith. Be fair. There is always someone watching over you, and will guide you and take care of you.