Last spring, I was in traveling throughout Europe and just before coming home, I met my parents in Rome for my Mom’s 60th birthday.
One night, we were sitting in the Basilica St. Mary in Trastevere and as a result of my own digression, I found myself going on about some personal revelations that had dawned on me while abroad.
“What did I want out of my future? Did I want to keep traveling or was it time to settle down and plant roots somewhere? Did I want to go back to Los Angeles or move to New York? And starting a family? Did I want…”
My voice trailed off and then I turned to my Mom with tears in my eyes and said, “Mama, if I don’t have children, will I be enough?”
Now, my mom and dad want nothing more than to be grandparents. So as honest as my intentions were, the question could’ve been misunderstood or taken out of context and understandably so. Instead, my mom used this inopportune moment to embrace what it means to be a parent. What it means to be a mom.
She would love me. No matter what.
Since then, I’ve thought a lot about that night. I see the way my Mom loves my brother and I. Her larger than life love is unwavering, all-encompassing, and unconditional. Was I capable of that kind of devotion and sacrifice?
My mom once likened having us to her heart existing outside her body. To me, that sounds scary and exhausting. But she always said loving us was easy.
I barreled through those awkward teenage years with a delusional self-confidence. To this day, I think I can do anything and it’s all because she’s my biggest fan. When people tell me I look exactly like her, I blush because I think she’s beautiful.
In fact, the qualities I like most about myself, I get from her. It makes me believe that maybe, just maybe, if I’m lucky enough… I could mother like her too.
Mama, if you’re reading this, thank you for always leading by example and showing me a love like no other. The next time I start to question the future or things I cannot control, I’ll remind myself that no matter what, at least to you, I’ll always be enough.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Trishna Patel aka Trishlist is a cultural curator, photographer, and host specializing in travel and the human experience. Follow her latest adventures as she explores New York City and beyond.