by Lisa Velez
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June 5, 2003
My Mom, oh what a woman! More than a Mother and more than a friend, what can I say about a sweet angel like lady that’s been and still is everything to me? The words are too many to recall. She’s been there for me through the good times and the bad, even if I just need a friend to listen to the woes in my heart, there she is, stroking my head softly with her sweet touch, comforting me and making me smile through the pain. Only a Mother like mine could do it. I know this for a fact.
I know, by just talking to my Mother about it…well, actually I guess I’ll never really “know” until I have children of my own and go through what she has…But I feel it must not have been easy giving her first-born, four month old baby (me) to a hospital, in New York, without her, to stay, while she and Daddy went home to our house in New Jersey. I know only my Mother can say how it felt to find out that her baby girl was born with dislocated hips. I can’t even imagine what I would do in that situation, or how I would feel. My Mom and my Dad would come back and forth every day to come and see me in the hospital. My Mom, by the grace of God almighty, must have been the strongest woman alive inside. I feel she still is. Sure, she has weaknesses like everybody else and worries herself needlessly over many things; she is human of course, yet her heart is worth more than 14k gold, and when it comes to her children her heart is tougher than the hardest stone. She would and will never let anybody hurt her children. She stresses constantly and I wish I could make her stop that. I know I can’t change her and that all I can do is pray, but she’s just such a wonderful Mother and friend to me that I want to make her happy. I know she feels that I make her happy already, but still, I feel she deserves a whole lot more. My Mom deserves to be treated like the queen that she is.
It’s so amazing that my Mom grew up to be the genuine loving woman that we see before us. My Mom grew up with a lot of problems. Her Mom didn’t even feed her. She had to get food from friends or live on jelly or cheese sandwiches. My Grandma wasn’t always nice to my Mom, and even though I know that it would have been very impossible, I wish I could have been there, even in spirit to take away all her pain, like she does for me. I’m so glad that before my Grandma died, she got a chance to apologize to my Mother for the way she treated her growing up. My Mom told my Sister and I a story about how my Grandma would favor my Mother’s brother, my Uncle Mike, and even if my Uncle would bang my Mom’s head against the dresser drawer and make her bleed, my Grandma would say, “Poor Michael,” and get mad at my Mother. My Mom is so strong to be able to laugh about that to this day. What a woman she is! I admire her for her strength.
No matter what I’ve been through growing up, my Mom was always there when I needed her, and still is. She’s been there to wipe every tear and mend every broken heart that I’ve had. No doctor on earth can heal a heart the way a Mother does. There is so much to say about my Mom and so many ways to think of to say them that I think I’d need a thousand or more sheets of paper to say it all.
I love her so much; I just don’t think that there is anything I would not do for her. If she asks something of me and I cannot do it, my heart feels so guilty. I know I am married and have different priorities now, but I want to do for my Mother what she’s always done for me. I want to be there whenever she calls, even though I know I really can’t be everywhere at once. All I can do is trust her to the care of the Lord Jesus, who is omnipresent.
As children, we act as if nothing bad will ever happen, like we’re invincible or something. We think that our parents will be around forever and that nothing will ever happen to them. Then we grow up and we begin to see our parents beginning to get older and we learn that we’ve been wrong all along. Their hair turns gray and their skin begins to wrinkle. We wish we could keep them young forever. I always say, though, that age is nothing but a number, and that’s all it really is. Who we really are comes from the inside out. I know that my parents are not old in number yet; they’re only in their low to mid fifties, and in today’s day and age, that’s super young! I often think and wonder to myself, how I will act when my parents go to be with the Lord. I’m especially afraid of the day I loose my Mother. Of course when my Dad is called home, I will be a wreck, because I love him and he’s a special part of my life. Especially that our relationship is so much better now and we’ve been growing closer within the last couple of years. But, I guess Mothers and daughters have that “special bond” that no one can replace. When my Mom leaves this earth, my heart will hurt and probably feel like it’s bursting apart. I don’t even want to think about it. I will rejoice that she will be in the presence of Jesus with no more pain or tears to ever hurt her again. Yet, I will feel a loneliness I’ve never felt before. Even though I’m almost 29 now, still when I’m sick or not feeling happy, all I have to do is put my head on my Mom’s lap and she rubs my back gently while she talks to me softly and makes me laugh. I’m telling you, when it comes to Mothers, I have one of the best.
I have the kind of Mother that always put her own needs last on the list. She always gave up her own dreams to help fulfill the dreams of others. I know she’s way overdue to fulfill hers and it’s never too late, I feel, as long as God awakes us with the breath to live a brand new day. My Mom was and still is a good Christian woman. However, when I had severe problems with my Dad and maybe spilled something or had a problem, she would lie and try to cover for my Sister and me by blaming everything on herself. Then, my Dad would yell at her and I’d feel awful. Mom still tries to do that to this day but my Sister and I don’t let her get away with that anymore. We tell my Dad the truth. He just says, “Oh I knew who did it.” What am I going to do with this Lady?
In January of 1989 I had my first panic attack. I remember it was the scariest thing I had ever been through. When I first was having these panic/anxiety attacks, they were really severe and I felt like I was going to die. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I thought I would stop breathing at any moment. I would even go to the bathroom in school, when my face started getting numb, just to put cold water under my nose so I could feel like I was able to breathe again. I think because of the problems at school and at home my anxieties just manifested themselves into panic disorder. Some people would say that it was just in my head, until they found out what panic disorder was really all about. And again, through it all, who was by my side trying to cure me? My Mother… See, Barry Manilow had come out with a new album that year and the first song on the album was titled, “Please Don’t Be Scared.” My Mom had me come in to her room and sit on her bed to play that song for me. She put on my Dad’s record player and sang it to me. She made me want to cry, and get it all out, which I think I actually did anyway. She helped me make it through, as she’s done and still does, time and time and time again.
My Mom always sang to me. She constantly said that she “couldn’t sing.” But, I feel that every Mother with true love in her heart for her children “can sing,” because they sing from their heart the love that overflows within them. That alone makes the song a Mother sings the most beautiful sound known to anyone’s ear. My Mother’s special song for us was always: “You And Me Against The World,” by Helen Reddy. She would always sing that to me, and still does. She would even sing to me, “Close To You,” by the Carpenters, to let me know how special I was to her. She would even act out the “sprinkle moon dust in your hair of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue,” even though my eyes and hair have always been brown. Like patches make up a quilt, so these songs and memories make up my life and every beat of my heart, molding me in to the young woman I am today and always will be. When I’m feeling down, I can think about times like these that I’ve spent with my Mother, and smile.
There’s something about Mothers. I only can hope to be as wonderful a Mother as my Mom has been and still is to me. Even when I got pregnant for the first time in seven years of marriage in 2002 and lost the baby, my Mom was there to perk me up and make me feel better. I felt it was my fault that the baby had died and I cried like I never had before. Yet, my Mother understood with every part of her. Even though she had never lost a child like I did, I think God above blesses a Mother with the very gift of understanding her children, no matter what it is that’s going on. Like I said before and I must say again, I can only “hope” that I will be as wonderful a Mother as my Mother has been to me.
My Mom can be too much sometimes. If I do something good for her, without her even asking me to do it, she thinks she’s taking advantage of me. She just makes me laugh when she acts this way, because it’s like she doesn’t think she deserves to be treated the way my Dad, Sister and I want to treat her. I’d like to eventually repay my Mom for all she’s done for me over the years but how can I repay someone who’s been almost everything to me? Is there something I can do or say that could measure up to her love? No way. I don’t even think that if I searched the universe over I would find that answer. God will only repay her in the eternal treasure of Heaven’s embrace where we’ll be together forever.
My Mother is truly an amazing woman. She’s the only one I know who can do chores, talk on the phone, and go to the bathroom and whatever else she has to do, all in one sitting. If I ask her if she needs any help, what does she say? She says, “No, that’s okay, I’d rather do it myself.” But, when she comes over my house and I say no, she helps me anyway. She just smiles cutely and blushes and says, “Shhh, I’m the Mother.” She makes me laugh, that’s for sure. She always has a smile when my skies are gray. She always has a hug when I’m feeling alone or afraid. She always has a song when life is not going my way. She always has a heart when the world turns me away. And she always lifts me up on her knees every day, as she prays to our Lord. Whatever I need when I need it, she’s got it. And most of all, she always has love for me with every breath she takes. When I look in her eyes it’s like I can see in to her heart, for when she looks at her children, the love within her just shines through. Her smile is the most beautiful thing that God ever created. Thinking about it, in reality, I don’t really feel that I deserve such a wonderful Mother as the one that I’ve been given. It’s not that I’m questioning God, believe you me, he makes no mistakes. It’s just that, Mommy is so amazing and sweet and beautiful and…. oh I could go on forever.
I know that my Mother will always be my Mother, but I’ve always considered her the closest and dearest friend that I’ve ever had or will ever have, besides the good Lord. When God gave her to me, he gave me a miracle. Some people might be reading this and be thinking, “Oh, she’s just overreacting, nobody can be that wonderful.” Well, sorry, in this case, that’s far from the truth. It sure is true when people say, “Never say never,” because my Mom is the greatest lady that I’ll ever know.
My Mom is even the reason that my husband and I are together. When I “thought” I was in love with someone else, she and I had one of our “famous” talks in her bed one night, and she woke me up to the reality that someone who loved me for me (Ramon) was right in front of my face and that I was waiting for someone (who shall remain nameless) to love me who didn’t even know I was alive. Even when Ramon and I were just friends, he snapped at me one time because my friend, who he was engaged to at one time before she cheated on him, yelled at him and told him what to do. After some time had gone by and Ramon, my “future husband” showed up at my job with roses, it was my Mom who convinced my Dad to give Ramon another chance. Even Ramon loves my Mother like his own.
My husband Ramon loves his Mother more than anything like I do. Even though his Mother drinks and smokes and doesn’t see the error in her ways, he still adores her. Yet, I feel so sad for him when he can’t get close to her because of the way she’s been acting. She adopted six children and puts aside her real children. When my husband (then boyfriend) saw “Mrs. Doubtfire,” in the theatre, he cried, because it reminded him of his parents getting divorced and he so longed for the love of both of his parents to rekindle. He once confided in me that even though he loves his Mother, he wished that my Mother were his own. It made me feel good, but it also made me feel his pain, nothing like feeling mixed emotions. I never knew what that felt like until that moment. My Mom is touching more lives than she’s aware of.
My Mother and I have hardly had many fights. Yet, when we did argue, it usually was not a nice argument, then again what argument is ever “nice.” Having those disagreements and arguments with my Mom I learned to respect her more. I mean I’m not happy that we argued, but I was and am happy that I learned a lot about who my Mother was (and is) and what she was (and is) all about.
Last year, in 2002 my family and I had a big scare. My Mom, thankfully working in a hospital, suddenly began to feel her heart race like a racehorse. She began to feel dizzy, out of it and not so good. I don’t know all the information but I know it most likely could have become a life-threatening situation, but God’s hand was upon her even more that day. Mommy went to the ER and they found out that her heart rate was just about 170BPM or so. They gave her medicine to calm down her palpitations and admitted her for a few days while they ran tests and watched her heart beat. Thanks to God, her heart turned out to be fine, she just couldn’t have caffeine or anything like that anymore. They thought that this medicine she had recently taken really affected her heartbeat and gave her palpitations. Though Mom is on medicine that she has to take every day, I’m so thankful that all she has are palpitations. I was afraid that my Mother’s life was going to be cut short. I didn’t know what I would’ve done if I had lost her. I know one day I will but I don’t even want to think about that. I am afraid of the day that the phone will ring with bad news about something happening to my Mother. I wonder how I will handle it. Talk about getting palpitations, I’ll be getting some myself. In fact, I’m getting some writing and thinking about this, but I’m not going to spend the rest of my life worrying about the day she or I die, for then I’ll waste all the moments and times we have left together, which I pray are many, many more. So, I’m going to embrace every moment with joy and love my Mother the best way that I can. It’s true what people say… “Never go to bed angry or leave each other mad or hold a grudge.” The Lord Jesus said it best when he said that, “Tomorrow is promised to no one.” I could die tomorrow, and then what will I have to show for it?
There’s something about a Mother’s love that picks a person up when they’re down. No one can mend a heart, besides the Lord, the way a Mother mends a heart. No one knows her child like a Mother, except again for the Lord. When I’m feeling sad and I don’t want anyone to know, Mom can always read it on my face without me having to say a word. When my Mom sheds a tear, I wish I could make it all better. I know that all I can do is pray and be there for her, but I want to do the same for her as she’s done for me. I want to take Mom’s pain away and make her world the most beautiful place she’s ever been.
A Mother is like a white rose…She is white because she holds a heart that’s pure and true, like the love for her child that she holds within it. Though She may loose one of her petals, she still stands tall being there for her children. Her beauty is more than a physical thing. The love that flows from her soul sets free a fragrant loveliness that no one else has ever experienced before. Mere words cannot even begin to express who and what my Mother is to me…
Mommy always believes in me. Even when I mess up and totally do the opposite of what I should do, she still holds hope for the future. I’ll always believe in Mommy.
My Mother makes me upset, though when she overly worries and doesn’t take care of herself. Again, we got another scare this year. Actually it was very recent that this scare came about. My Mom had this burning beneath her belly and she wouldn’t eat that much. She just felt very sick and tired all the time. Now, my Mom is tiny to begin with and for her to loose weight is no matter to be taken lightly. The doctor took tests in the hospital, only to find out that she had hemorrhoids in her colon and IBS, better known as, irritable bowel syndrome. I praise the Lord for that report though, because I was afraid to even think that I would possibly loose my Mother to colon cancer. Oh what crazy and dark thoughts the devil implants in the minds of God’s people.
Mom’s appetite is getting better and she has her up and down days. Stress upsets her situation as well. I am glad to know, however, that it looks like she’ll be around for a long, long time to come, God-willing, and that it’s nothing serious.
Like I said before, my Mom has given her life to taking care of other people and is constantly giving up her dreams to make the dreams of others come true. For example, about a year and a half after I was born, she agreed to move with my Dad in to his parents’ home because my Grandfather was sick and dying. We moved to the first floor while Grandma and Grandpa lived on the top floor. Through the years, even after my Grandpa, who loved my Mother like his own daughter, died, Mommy still kept her dreams on the backburner to take care of other people and endure hardships like no one else I had seen before. There were (and still are) many bad arguments between my Dad and my Aunt and Uncle who still continue to live above my parents, yet my Mother endures it all. My Dad, every year, promises my Mother that he and she are finally going to move out and get a house of their own, only for him to let her down in the end. I understand why he doesn’t want to leave. I know it’s because Daddy is holding on to the sweet memories of growing up in that old house with his parents. I know he’s afraid to try something new, in a new home, away from everything and everyone that he’s used to. I wonder if Daddy thinks that he doesn’t deserve to be happy. I wonder what I can do to change his mind about that. He and especially my Mother deserve to start again and be as happy as they’ve always wished they could be. It’s never too late to start over. As long as a person has breath in their lungs, it’s never too late to fulfill one’s dreams. For a dream come true is a lifetime of success. I know that my Mother deserves the best. She’d probably tell the world if she could that she has the best because she has my Dad and us kids to love her. I can guarantee that God is holding an extra special place for my Mother when he calls her home, for everything she’s done for his glory. My Dad sure is a blessed man to have met and married a terrific woman like Barbara Marion Mary Fea, (now Barbara Zapotocky),my Mom. When she loves someone she loves with her whole being and is there whenever someone needs her to be.
I sit here at the computer at almost four in the morning because I feel there is a lot to say about this beautiful creature that is my Mother. I want the whole world to know who she is, what she’s all about and how she’s touched my life as well as the lives of so many countless others.
My family always had dogs as my Sister and I grew up and my Mother loved them dearly. However, my Mom’s most favorite animal has always been the duck. I think ducks are Mom’s favorite not only because they are so cute and sweet, but because when she sees a Mother duck with her babies ever while protecting them from all harm and loving them, it reminds her of what it is to be a Mother. It must remind her of when we were little and followed her everywhere, even though I’d still follow her to the ends of the earth if she ever needed me to in a heartbeat. I know my Sister would too. Actually, I know that my Dad and Ramon would follow her too, as well as all the dogs in the neighborhood, since all our dogs always adored her, so I know Mom would never be able to escape the power of our love.
What an honor it is to have a Mother who loves me for who I am. She never tries to change me, she only tries to make what’s already there shine through and get better with time. Just because my Sister and I are older now, she’s never stopped being our Mother and loving us just the way that she always has. If Mom hasn’t heard from me in only a few days, she calls me to make sure I’m okay. No matter how old a person is, he or she is never too old for the love of a Mother. A Mom is someone you never outgrow. If a person outgrows his Mother then there’s something terribly wrong. For a true Mother never stops loving her children. And children should never stop loving their Mothers. I know I never will.
God bless you, Mommy. You have my heart forever…Thanks for everything. I’m here whenever you need me. I love you.
Lisa, your daughter, friend & “Baby-Huey forever…
What is A Mother, but more than a friend?
A beautiful treasure, until the end.
Tenderly loving all she holds dear
Embracing her children, holding them near.
What is a Mother, but much more each day?
I feel so much, but what can I say?
Whatever it is, I must say it right.
I love you, Mommy
For all of my life…
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Powerfol and enspiring. She sounds a bit like my mother.