My Mom Is My Hero

I grew up very poor. My mom was a single mom with three children living in a small town. We even own a car. She was dyslexic before they knew what that was and she was always under employed at low paying jobs, but she worked. She worked hard. And she made sure we had an excellent education. My mom was kind of beaten down by life and wasn’t a fighter. She just wanted peace and quiet and avoided public drama with every core of her being. She did not attend church but she made sure we did.

My grandmother was one of the founding members of our small church. On Wednesdays almost every child in town attended some type of church class. The Catholic children attended catechism. The Protestant attended after school bible study. I was Protestant and my teacher gave great gifts if you learned your bible verses. I even earned my first new testament. My best friend Kim and I decided we would bring our Bibles to school and have a little recess club so we could both earn more prizes.

When my kindergarten teacher found out, our bibles were confiscated and we were threatened with being expelled. This was in the 70’s in the days of Madeline O’Hare. My quiet avoid drama mom made quite a stir. The matter went all the way to the school board. Caesar Chavez was active in our town and at this school board the Brown Panthers were in attendance. Despite being afraid, non confrontational and intimidated by the presence of authority and The Brown Panthers, my mom stood up and argued in front of the school board, and argued for my right NOT to be expelled and to bring my Bible to school. When she was done The Brown Panthers were backing her up and the school board backed down. I was not expelled and neither was my friend Kim. I could bring my Bible but we couldn’t have our club we had to read individual and could share.

My mom worked hard raising us. We were very poor but this story, this act of bravery made my mom my hero. She stood up and fought for me despite being afraid. It would have been easier to follow the rules even though the rule was wrong. I think the fact that she was defending my right to read a book she couldn’t is so powerful. I became the first person in my family to earn a Bachelors degree. I broke the cycle of poverty and as a Nurse I have fought and been the voice of many who could fight and had no voice.

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