My heart still breaks a little to think of how hard Mother worked to be able to provide for the ungrateful little pig kids she brought into the world. She worked hard her whole life, at jobs and at home, to only become physically disabled in her retirement. My mom spends a lot of time watching television and can tell you about anything that's going currently on in the world. She's a talker, and I attribute that partially to her solitary existence but also to her personality. We both find ourselves to be very clever and quick with a joke, whether anybody else thinks so or not.
She dotes on my child, loves us both more than we may ever realize, and lives through all her children and grandchildren. It's ironic, because I never truly considered who she was (and is) as a person until I became a mother and realized how very much I wanted to still be considered a person, too, and not just a mom. My mom is definitely one of my heroines.
I learned the true value of work and earning money from my mother. When we were kids back in the '80s, she cleaned other people's houses. She was paid a whole whopping $8 for cleaning a house. That's right, only $8! For cleaning someone's nasty house. I was appalled to learn this later in life. Here I had begged for money for this and that for school, and she was breaking her back to buy whatever I (we four kids) wanted. For instance, I remember cheerleading shoes costing around $30 for a pair of Nikes. That does not include how much it cost for my uniform and for clothes to attend camp. I would contribute toward the costs, but my mom would techincally have to clean four houses just to pay for the stupid shoes.
Her lesson was that she loved us so much that she broke down her body and health to provide for us. She also taught me that education is the way out of having to literally slave in the labor to earn money to support your family. She didn't have the opportunity to go to college, but she's helped me along the way to see that I did. She is an amazing woman.