My mother and I have always had a very special relationship, a bond that few people can comprehend. Ever since I was a little girl, I remember her teaching me about a mother’s love: constant and unconditional. She would remind me of an old Polish proverb: The greater love is a mother’s, then comes a dog’s, then a sweetheart’s. During my trying teenage years, specifically ninth grade, my mom was my best friend.
Everything was going great – at least it was for a while. I was a straight A student who enjoyed school. Being an only child, I loved having a good time with classmates my age. A few weeks after my freshman year started, though, things began to change. I became the target of a bully. I don’t know why; I had actually been his friend the year before. But nevertheless, he made it his personal goal to make me miserable. I had always had a lot of friends, but as his daily attacks grew worse, more and more of my classmates joined him in laughing at me. I became the class joke. My self-esteem and assertiveness that I once enjoyed grew less with each passing day. I drew into myself and became timid, silently enduring his hurtful remarks.
I would climb into the car after school, look at Mama and burst into tears. I’ll never forget the tenderness with which she rubbed my hand and the compassion with which she listened to my stories day after day.
I now know the pain she went through right along with me. How she cried as soon as she was done assuring me that it would get better – for she had no way of knowing if it ever really would. How she stayed up at night trying to think of advice, she could give me – comeback lines to try – that would end it all. Mama never gave up. She was always coming up with solutions to my problems. Some of her advice worked; some of it didn’t. But I remember it all. Mama started having a special prayer time from 11:55 to 12:45 every day – fifth period. Just knowing that Mama and God were thinking about me strengthened me.
One day, I snapped out of my self-pity when I found this letter on my desk after school:
As I look out your window I can see a little girl hanging out her doll clothes, a fifteen-year-old with the weight of the world on her shoulders and a young woman, successful at whatever she chooses to do with her life. The most difficult thing I have had to deal with is seeing the hurt in your eyes. But we’re lucky because, for a lot of people, life is much tougher.
You are beautiful, talented, smart, young, Christian woman. You have morals and concern for other people. These things aren’t taught in school but from a loving family and a loving heart.
Sit back, relax and know that there is some good in every day. Don’t worry so much about what others think and say, but instead think about the things that make you special. You will not be remembered as being mean and hateful. You will be remembered as being pretty, caring, smart and compassionate. We all have our high-school memories. People will not remember you with negative thoughts.
You have plans, and you have dreams. Hold on to those. I know many of them will become a reality for you. No matter what you do, you are always loved. I know two very successful people who were bullied. They got through high school, and so will you!
You have everything going for you. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. That is the worst thing you can do. You’ve got what it takes, and we all know it.
Your Proud Mom
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