There’s another “mom” I’m blessed to have in my life. She’s never “birthed” a baby from her body.
Yet, she’s been a mother to dozens spanning over 4 generations. She’s my great-aunt, Mama Blanca, my grandmother’s younger sister.
My grandma and her siblings lost their own mother when they were fairly young. My grandma being the oldest stepped in as a mother figure to her younger siblings. Mama Blanca also helped to raise her brothers and my grandmother are basically soul mates. They’re like Ruth and Naomi, “where you go I will go” Their love and devotion to each other is like seeing a brief glimpse of the kind of love Jesus has for all of us.
My great-aunt never married, though she was a looker and had many suitors. She never had a family of her own and yet she bound her life to that of her sister and through her life and sacrifice has helped to raise dozens of individuals spanning four generations.
She came to live with us when I was about 3 or 4. She moved here from Nicaragua to live with her sister and her family. She would have been in her 60s then and man was she a firecracker (she still is). The fact that she couldn’t speak English never stood in her way, she made friends everywhere she went and eventually everyone at the markets and grocery stores got to know her.
My cousin Lester and I were I think the biggest beneficiaries of her affections. Both of our moms worked when we were kids and Mama Blanca would take us on the bus to run errands and go on field trips. She took us to the zoo, the Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, and many other places. I remember we would talk her into taking us to movies and she would even though she had no idea what they were about. She just wanted to make us happy. If she had two dollars left in her purse she’d take us to McDonalds and get us each a cheese burger and small fries to share. Later she would love on my younger cousins and eventually my own kids in the same way.
She used to bake our birthday cakes from scratch. She’d make our school lunches and fill them with treats (like powdered doughnuts and fudge stripe cooks, those were the best) She made Halloween costumes and later blankets and pjs for my boys. She was the Nicaraguan version of Martha Stewart in many ways.
Mama Blanca is now 90 years old and she’s had to slow down a bit. But she still tries to feed you the second you walk into the house and she’ll still offer to give you a few bucks for gas just because she loves you so much that she’s willing to give away everything and anything she has left. And because the idea of not offering would be unthinkable to her. Gracias Mama Blanca.
I’m blessed because I have had all of these amazing women in my life who’ve helped me to become the woman I am today.
So sweet friends, if you’re a mom, I hope you get loved on over Mother’s Day cause you sure deserve it. If you’ve had a special mom in your life that has blessed you greatly, I pray that you’ll let them know because I’m sure they’d love to hear it. And if you haven’t biologically “birthed” any children, I pray that you’ll not let that discourage you from “being a mom” because like my Mama Blanca, your love could affect generations.
Happy Mother’s Day!