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Why I Have Many Mothers, My Gratitude

picture of mother and son

I have an enormous appreciation and gratitude for women and mothers. The women of which I speak of are the individuals that have shown me what a real woman is supposed to be. They have their own principles, virtues, morals, and values. They have their own quirks, characteristics, and traits that make them unique and powerful in their own way. In another light, those individual characteristics and traits are what makes a woman powerful and influential. This is true for me, as a man, for the reason that I naturally look to these women for a certain type of acceptance and their acceptance matters to me. Their dissatisfaction with something I’ve done also matters to me and lets me know if I’m on the right path or not.

However, growing up my parents were divorced when I was six years old. My life as a young boy drastically changed. Not only were my parents divorced but they became divorced for the fact my biological mother, Janet Chavez was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I never understood why or how any of that happened and now that I look back on that none of that makes any sense. Schizophrenia does not run in the Reckenberg family and I am past the age for a male to have that mental disorder. Reckenberg is my mothers maiden name and her families ancestry is from Germany. Her grandparents were immigrants that came to the United States from Canada and settled in Iowa. Some of them eventually moved to Missouri near Novinger.

My mother worked at an old store called Pamida that used to have a small gas station in the middle of the parking lot. My Uncle used to work there and most likely that is how my parents met, was through my mother’s sister and her husband. My father and mother met and got married in the city of Kirksville, Missouri and a couple of years or so later I was born.

Throughout the years, after my parents became divorced, I wasn’t able to see my mother very often. I took turns with my sisters going on supervised visits with my mother with her caseworker on Mondays. The visits were almost surreal and awkward for me, being normal, trying to interact with her. It was also difficult for me to gauge what a woman and mother were supposed to be like, as an example, for me to be able to know what type of woman I wanted to date and be with later on when I was of age to be able to get married. This had a great impact on my perspective and judgment making skills later on. My immediate perspective was the examples I got from my own sisters and my opinion of those experiences are less than stellar.

I used to get picked on somewhat at school because my mother was the way she was and that usually came with the feelings that I should never associate myself with her anyway. My sisters and I were always afraid that we would end up like her. However, later on in my progression, I learned that everything was not my mother’s fault and she should not be ostracized or ridiculed as was purported in the demeanors and various unspoken gestures I took notice to from my peers and other adults. This was a conviction I made to myself and I didn’t care how it looked when I made an effort to visit her over the years. My mother is still a person and she was the only person that gave birth to me. If anybody were to interact with her she might or might not make any sense but she is very sweet, generous, and loving.

Not having my mother around and not wanting to look towards my sisters as an example I naturally looked to other women as examples. The process was arduous and I learned how to hone my skills in deciding which women were the best examples to look to in making personal and professional decisions. I have them to thank for the type of, portions, and characteristics I have gained only a man can get from looking to the best women in trying to be the best man I can be. I cannot even begin to explain the amount of gratitude I feel and have felt over the years for those women’s examples of leadership, values, principles, forgiveness, understanding, and morals in teaching me the way only they can.

This should not be exactly, but not having my mother around over the years I have felt very alone and a void deep within me that has taught me how valuable and important a mother is. So, on this Mothers Day to all the women that have made a difference in my life here is a heartfelt hug and words of gratitude. YOU are never forgotten and always loved.

by Jamin Chavez

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