My Mother This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Having a family who loves you is the most important thing. My mother is my main support; she is my inspiration and the driving force behind my success. To explain what she means to me is to ask me why I am here. Mom, Mommy, Mother and “The Bank" are what she is to me; she is my hell and my drive to succeed.
To describe her takes just a few words. Mommy is simple in looks. She is a black Jamaican woman. She doesn’t have long or short hair, it’s just there, with no added chemicals. She is a thickly shaped woman who lacks modern clothes, and I am the reason why.
She has a longing in her eyes for comfort and sleep, and these eyes look toward everyone else’s children and then to me for hope - the hope to make her proud and to contradict the norm that has been set up for me.
Mom’s hands are huge and, unlike mine, show the world how hard she has worked her whole life, though no one seems to care about her plight. My mother’s feet are no great things, but they have felt the most pain; dry, blistered and sore most of the year, and mainly because of me.
My mother has never given up on me since the day I was born. Mama sacrificed her life for me: school, vacations, job opportunities, money and the pursuit of love. I have many memories of her great devotion to me. In third grade I was in the play “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," and she wasn’t there like the other parents. I looked out and didn’t see her, and I cried after my performance.
When I got home, she wasn’t there because she was at work. Mommy came home and began to make dinner. I could see her standing with her hands on her lower back, like a pregnant woman, moaning a little from riding the crowded bus home. She asked how my day was, and I could hear the weariness in her voice, so I told her that nothing much happened.
When she fell asleep, I went into her room and cuddled up beside my momma. She hugged me back, and I felt happier than if she had come to my play. I knew that I had my mommy who came home right after work so I could sleep next to her. There was nothing I would trade for that.
My mom isn’t like any other parent. We fight over the telephone and grades, but I realize she argues because she loves me a lot more than some parents. She sometimes tells me that I will turn out to be nothing and that I should go “till you catch something." I’d cry, but this would make me even madder so I would prove her wrong.
She is my hell and my angel every day of my existence. She tries to make the best out of me, and many in our community are jealous of that. They tell her she tries too hard and that she is a fool for it; she tells me to prove them wrong, to hold my head up high and have pride. I know my mother is more than many moms because she wants the best for me. What type of mother would do all this for her children?
I, as a teenager and soon an adult, see the error of my ways and attitude. This poor woman, my mother, is one of the hardest-working women on Earth. She believed the worst from her friends when they talked about me and assumed the worst of me so I would achieve the best. I didn’t understand her “twisted" (or reverse, as it is called now) psychology, but I now know that she invested her life, money and time for her children to succeed.
She has put time and love into us and others. Mom gives barrels of food and clothes to the poor of Jamaica and goes there with medical supplies for a clinic. If I tell you more, you won’t believe me.
My mom, mother, mama, mommy and “The Bank" is a saint, a living miracle, the only lover of my soul and the giver of my life. I wish I could be like her on some days, and other days I wish to hold her.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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