You deserve to not only be proud of who you have become, but who you could’ve become and fought not to.

I can remember my mother telling me stories of when she was young and the work she had done helping this lady with a fur coat business. I could tell just by the sound of her voice that she was extremely proud of the hard work she had accomplished.

My mom would read any book that she could get her hands on. Her favorite, of course, were murder mysteries, or the Classics.

When I was around nine or 10 years old, she got a Readers Digest subscription. All those condensed novels were seen on her shelves. Those brown covers with the gold script. Tale of Two Cities. The Great Gatzby. All the classics. She would play guitar and sing the latest songs. Summer was outdoors, fishing, and gardens. But winter brought knitting, crocheting, reading, and tv.

One year, along with the Readers Digest that regularly came in the mail, my Mom ordered a Miniature Encyclopaedia of two volumes, a two volume dictionary, a huge World Altas with information about the earth, planets, stars, and the moon. One of my most vivid memories of that book was a picture of the Earth during the day, and the Earth during the night. You could see all the lights from all the cities from all over the world. And one of the greatest things that came with this package was a replica of the moon globe. As astronauts had taken walks in the Sea of Tranquility, I could find it on the moon globe. This was like magic for me be able to see exactly where they had walked.

One of the games my mom loved to play was she would find a name of a country or a city in the big Atlas and ask me to pronounce the words. She would laugh so hard as we went through Cucamonga and Kalamazoo and Zimbabwe. But it peaked my curiosity about other lands.

My mom loved the English language, mathematics, problem-solving, and learning about the world. She was a master of the New York Times crossword. She would set the timer and always beat the clock.

My father had a grade 8 education. A product of the dirty 30’s. Off to war as a merchant marine, and then to hard work. Generally, the men of Irish immigrants were good for labour jobs. They didn’t need a lot of other education. But my father was strong and he did have an excellent skill. As an ironworker he would walk 30 stories above the streets on a girder, carrying hot rivets and a riveting gun.

I always wondered as I got older why my mom stayed stuck. My dad could be extremely violent when he was drinking. And even though we lived on hardly nothing some winters, his pride would never have allowed us to get help from anyone. Or be conceived as not able to provide for his family by having his wife work.

Getting married at 16 years old and raising my three children, and being a stay at home mom, I dreamed of feeling something more, seeing something more, and being something more. I was stuck in my mom’s life. After my youngest went to school I was working. I took college courses while I worked but I was still at home with an alcoholic husband, cleaning fish, and raising chickens. Waiting for the guys to get back from fishing so I could feed them. I had never been out of my own province. After 17 years of marriage we made it to Kenora, a three hour drive from home.

I didn’t want to become the miserable housewife, knowing all that she had missed, all the dreams that couldn’t be fulfilled. I have no regrets. I have travelled to Europe and seen the most beautiful sights in the world. I have enjoyed success in both college and university. At the age of 65 I will now graduate high school. I have been able to dream. I have had a great love. I have been able to seek all the joys that this world has to offer me.

I’m sorry my mom never had anyone that could say go for it. You don’t have to have the same life that your parents and grandparents had, you can dream of a whole world that is at your fingertips. Don’t let others keep you down ever!!

Dream big!!!! Remember that your world is only limited by you!!!!

May I be safe. May I be healthy. May I be happy. May I live with ease.

One response to “You deserve to not only be proud of who you have become, but who you could’ve become and fought not to.”

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