I could write a sob story that would perhaps cause you to feel bad for my family, but I won’t. Though my family has endured tragedy and pain, those same struggles have served as a staple to keep us together.
In her life, my mom has lost a lot, but three things she has never lost are her family, her home, and hope. For the fifteen years I lived in our home in Woodlake, I was the child responsible for mowing the lawn, pulling the weeds, and weed-whacking the landscape. It became a weekly job to pull the massive weeds that one would expect to see near a swamp. My older brother and sister moved on to fulltime careers after college and four years later, I’m four hours away in Southern California as a recent college graduate. Knowing how much the landscape means to my mom, my siblings and I contracted with a landscaper to rototill our backyard while I’ve been in school as there was no longer anyone to make it look decent by pulling the weeds. The grass never grew, so we tried someone new a couple of months thereafter. A few hundred dollars later, we realized that contracting individuals rather than companies was no longer a solution to our problem, but we just could not afford it.
So, now, I ask not that you solve the problems that have existed in our family, but rather, rejuvenate the hope my mother has never lost by a simple act of kindness. While she still works 10-12 hour days at the age of 50, what a blessing it would be for her to pick up a couple of hobbies such as growing a garden, watering a nice lawn, and simply enjoying herself despite not having our family close together.