August 10th is a very special day. It’s the day my mother was born. I can’t even begin to express what my mother means to me. Anything in words would never convey how I feel or what I know. But I will try my best to put something that should never be limited, structured, defined, or explained into in words.
My mom worked a lot when I was young. She worked at the family business and was constantly swamped in work. Often I was with my caretaker (Olinda) or under the supervision of my eldest sister. I’m not sure if my mother even remembers this, but we had something called “our day.” It’s a day when my mom spent some time focusing just on me. She would pick me up, drive somewhere we could have lunch (just the two of us, without my other four siblings), and ask me about myself; what I thought about things, how thing were going, etc.. Later she would buy me something, like a new pair of barrettes or a toy. Which was very exciting for me. This effort to show she cares about me, that I am important and not forgotten, made a huge impression on me. I ALWAYS FELT LOVED. I always felt special. And I was always secure in the fact that my mother loved me immensely and unconditionally. If I could say that there is one thing in my life, that I have always been clear about, without a shadow of a doubt — that would be it. That I am loved unconditionally by my mother, and that I am important to her.
At the toughest phases in my life, it was that knowing, that clarity about her love for me, that allowed me to powerfully move through challenging experiences that would otherwise break my spirit. And in some of the worst times of my life (as a teen and as an adult), my mom dropped everything to be with me — she flew 3,000 miles to be with me. Even though I would insist that everything was fine, and that I didn’t need her to come. But each time she did that and went against what I told her, I was wrong. When she was there with me, I realized how powerful her presence was, and that I did need her. And her being there for me meant the world to me. Being the stubborn person that I am, I probably didn’t act like it, or say it, but I felt it and knew it.
My mom had an equal impact on my health. I was never athletic or adventurous as a child or teen. But when I was in my early twenties, my mother inspired me. She was such a stickler for her health. Rain or shine, travel or work, she got up early in the morning to exercise. She would also watch what she was eating, and try her best to eat healthfully. When she came to visit me in New York at the time, I just couldn’t get over the fact that my mom was fitter than me, and much more energetic and daring. And I was in my 20s! After her visit, my life dramatically changed. I started to exercise, and I began to take my health and my life seriously. I regularly challenged myself and faced my fears, and I made a lifelong commitment to make my health and well-being a priority.
Sunday Is For Lovers, AimeeLovesYou, how I sign off on each email with some expression of love… all of this is because I am very comfortable loving. I love people, I love life, I love learning — I love loving, and I think I have this capacity for love because of my mother. Let me rephrase that: I know I have this capacity for love because of my mother. It all started with her, teaching me what unconditional love was. And this example of supreme love, carried through my very being, and into my work and life with others. So without my Mom, there would be no Sunday Is For Lovers, there would be no AimeeLovesYou — there would be no me. It all stemmed from her — all of it.
Thank you, Mom! :) I love you SO MUCH, it’s unfathomable.