Momby Sarah Duda, Middletown, CT"Can I pull the string, Mommy?" I asked excitedly. "Sure honey, go ahead," my mother said as she smoothed back my hair. "Now?" "Yes, right ... now!" I reached up and pulled the string (which made a sound like a bell) and waited as the transit bus came to a slow stop.My mom and I had a routine. Every day, we would take the bus, first to my day care, where she would kiss me good-bye and then she would proceed to her school. She was taking classes at the local community college. After school, she would come back and together we would walk downtown to the bus station. On nice days, we would have picnics by the fountain.I can still remember those days vividly. I was no more than five years old. It was just me and her and that was all I needed. When I was three, my mother left my "biological" father, who was abusive and cruel to her. I haven't seen him since. We moved in with some friends in a four-family house. That is where I met my real dad. He lived downstairs and I instantly fell in love with him. One day, while sitting on his lap, I asked him to be my daddy and he agreed. After he and my mom got married, he adopted me and that was that. When I tell people that he's my adoptive father, they never believe me. The way I fight with my little sister (who is now ten), no one believes that she is only my half-sister. She was born when I was seven and we share a room. Need I say more?My mother, who went on to gain her nursing degree, loves her job as a visiting nurse. I am so proud of her and all that she has accomplished; it was not easy. All that she has done is a result of her perseverance and her huge heart. She is my mother, my biggest role model, and my best friend. I would like to follow her example of strength and determination. Her life was a hard one, but she made the best of it and worked to give me a good life, the life she never had. Now I'm a senior in high school, writing my college essay, and I just have to thank my mom, the strongest woman I know. -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.