LIFE STORIES

For Mother's Day

MY MOTHER’S SIDEKICK

Of the many character traits, I hold dear, perseverance is one that I keep coming back to. Whether it’s the national hero Churchill, or the military leader Ulysses S Grant, the business philanthropist Bill Gates or freedom fighters Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, they all share this essential trait.

My first model of perseverance, and the one who had the deepest influence on my life, was my mother. Not because she was a paragon of all things a mother could possibly be. My mother was actually an alcoholic during many years of my childhood. She gripped a drink fiercely in one hand. But with her other hand, she embraced me and my sister with grit and resolve to clear a path for us that had never been open to her. She hadn't been trained or educated to raise and support two young kids on her own. She'd signed on with the rest of the women of her generation, long before women empowerment and gender equality, many of whom found themselves solely in charge of keeping a steady flow of meals on the table, known as the single Mom.

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