My Motherby Washington Oliveira, Marlboro, MAIn Brazil, my father died when I was five months old, and my mother was left with the responsibility of raising me. After his death, my mother's life evolved around me. My mother worked to support us while my grandmother took care of me.When I was seven years old, something happened to us which changed our future. A friend offered to take my mother to America, "the land of opportunity." My mother knew she faced a difficult decision, but she knew that this opportunity comes once in a lifetime. Knowing she could give us a better future, my mother accepted this offer and came to America in 1987.After my mother went to the United States, I lived with one of my aunts. The first few months without her were terrible. I used to lay in bed and cry, thinking about when I would see my mother again. My mother wrote me two or three letters a week, and called every weekend.My aunt and uncle liked me very much. On weekends they would take me out to eat or swimming, but even though they did all of these things, so I would not think too much about my mother, I still missed her a lot.I am not a big fan of writing letters and so I rarely wrote her. I did not have to since I talked to her every weekend, and told her everything that had happened that week.I lived without my mother for almost four years. I was reunited with her in 1991. While I lived without her, I learned to appreciate her and all the things she had done for me. I understand why my mother came to the United States and left me behind, and I do not feel any anger toward her for doing it. I love my mother very much and I respect her. I feel honored to have a mother like her; I am very proud of her, and admire her a great deal.In conclusion, my mother's dedication and determination had a great influence on me, and in a sense, I am dedicated and determined as a result of her example. Q
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.