I Believe in My Mom

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When I was a couple of months old, I had pneumonia and I stopped breathing. My mom called for an ambulance and immediately began to pray. The ambulance arrived minutes later, and the EMT performed CPR on me. That day, I was the first baby the EMT had ever “brought back to life.”

Later in the hospital, the doctor informed my parents that I was likely to be mentally challenged. Before the doctor could say another word, my mom said, “I don’t care. We’re keeping him no matter what.” Luckily, I was fine.

Then just a couple years later, when I was three, my dad left my mom with five children. I was the youngest, and I can remember the scene well. I was sitting at the top of the stairs and I watched my dad leave through the front door. My mom, now a single mother with five kids, was left the daunting task of raising us on her own.

The majority of my mom’s family lives in California where she grew up. But my mom never thought about packing us up and heading west. She wanted us to continue our schooling in the place we knew and with the friends we had already made.

We might have been poor, but my mother worked as hard as she could to give us the opportunities other kids had.
During the week, she worked full time in retail at places like Macy’s. Then on the weekends she worked at the Whole Foods Co-Op. She worked there for the extra money, but also for the discount. She wanted to be able to feed her kids healthy food. My mom worked constantly and still somehow managed to attend the majority of my extracurricular activities. Whether it was for my basketball games or for a school play, my mother did her best to make sure she was in the audience.

I believe in my mom.
Anything I ever accomplish is because of my mother. She showed me how to be a hard worker, to never give up, and to be there for others who are in need. Last spring break, I went to Texas to help rebuild houses and help families who were in dire need. I did it because I knew my mom would want me to. Everything I do in this world is with my mom in mind.
My mom is always supportive. She supported my decision to travel to London last summer and write for an online magazine as an intern. It was a remarkable experience.
In fact, my mom is one of the main reasons why I wanted to attend college, and everything I achieve is in the hopes that someday I can give my mom a better life.

My mom loves me unconditionally and I love her back. She showed me how a parent is supposed to be there for her kids. And she gave me the confidence to do positive things in this world. I believe in myself, because I believe in my mom.

-Clifton Graves


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