I’m 100% certain my mom is the strongest person in the world. Growing up I always felt like I had a say, was taken seriously, and was cared for, and my mom is at the root of all of those feelings.
I was about eleven years old, and we were on vacation in Greece. It was a mild night, and we were having a nice dinner in a restaurant near the hotel. Suddenly, the mood shifted. My mom had something to tell me. The insurance office she had worked at for years would be closing, and she might lose her job. They offered her a job in Hamburg—their headquarters!—, a well-paid, prestigious position. But it would mean that she would be 500 kilometers away for at least a year. Naturally I started bawling my eyes out at the mere thought of that happening.
My mom did not take the job, and she was unemployed for quite some time after that. But she listened to me and considered my—completely egoistical, childish—feelings more important than her career.
She never took anything from anyone, she always worked hard for everything we had, and she still does. These days I like to buy her something nice and useful every once in a while, and I know she’s only able to accept it because of its utility and because she loves me.
Every single one of my friends loved my mom. When I was a teenager there would often be group sleepovers at our appartment, because it’s pretty close to the center of the little city I grew up in. Some of my friends would practice run difficult conversations they would need to have with their parents with her. She is the most understanding person I know, and she listened to all our problems with the same intent that you might listen to a beautiful poem.
She always told me what she thought. Once I thought I could become a writer, and she would always tell me the good from the bad, in perfect honesty, even though I am her son, and I had a very fragile ego.
Growing up, she had two or more jobs at once more often than a single one, and she never complained about the workload—though she did speak her mind about her environment, bosses, clients, and coworkers.
She never had to yell. She stands a full 5’0 tall, but when she is angry, you’d do well not to cross her path. There is an aura of scorching heat emanating from her that I just can’t seem to imitate, and I’m told I’m quite interesting to behold when I’m in a bad mood. But it’s just a poor facsimile of the rightful wrath that is unleashed upon you when my mother is unhappy—and all of that without having to move or open her mouth. You’d think I’m exaggerating.
It took a while for me to grasp the concept that some parts of society consider women to be weaker or less cut-out for hard work. My mom is the strongest person I know, and when I grow up, I want to be like her.