When I was five years old my mother left meÖ
With my grandmother so she could come to the land of opportunity,
And though some would think this was abandonment,
It was really a sacrifice she made to obtain a better life for me.
In those formative years when I was raised by my grandmother,
Who was small in size but larger than life with her personality,
Grandma taught me the meaning of respect and the ways of the Lord,
I called her my mother too out of sheer love and propriety.
And for four years my mother worked her fingers to the bone,
Thousands of miles away she provided for me,
And though I didnít know it back then,
She suffered a loneliness that a mother suffers when away from her family.
When I was nine years old I reunited with my mother,
And I swear it was one of the few times I saw tears in her eyes,
It was like a new relationship after some years,
Still I didnít know about her sacrifice.
And though my mother didnít have much of a formal education,
She taught me about hard work, savings and finance,
She taught me about faith, ethics and morals,
She was always strong, resilient and leaving nothing to chance.
When I was eighteen years old and I moved into my college dorm,
I swear there were tears in my motherís eyes,
And though I didnít understand it back then,
She was proud of me, but I think it was because of that old sacrifice.
When I was nearly thirty years old and I moved back in with mom,
When my relationship had failed and I was a single father,
She took me in with open arms and unconditional love,
Comforting and counseling now that she was a grandmother.
And as I grew older learning to be a responsible parent myself,
I began to understand more of the sacrifices my mother had made,
I appreciated what grandma and mom had done for me,
As I see the same in my sisters and the choices they make.
When my daughters left home I saw my wife cry,
The cycle comes full circle for all women at a certain time,
When all children spread their swings and fly away,
Then I wondered about all the times I never saw my mother cry.
Now that Iím older, I understand her sacrifice.