The Time My Mother Flew Over 10,000 Miles for My Birthday

My mother taking in the sun in Australia. 

My mother taking in the sun in Australia. 

This won’t be the last time I write about my mother. She is forced to be reckoned with and she’s one of the reasons why I am so strong and who I am today. And, I’ve also grown to appreciate and love her in a way that cannot be expressed in just one blog post.

When I tell people about Yolanda, I start off by saying that she is super sassy, has an insatiable zest for life and I am still amazed at how she raised two girls as an immigrant mother in this country. She also loves me in this big grand way that I’m sure I will only truly understand if I ever have my own kids. And, she proved that yet again one day in April of 2005 while I was studying abroad in Australia.

Spring break was coming up at Macquarie University and unlike everyone else I wasn’t planning on doing anything for the two weeks they gave us. It didn’t bother at first because I was going to use my money for a whole month backpacking trip when the semester ended in June with my then boyfriend. I was waiting for his semester to end at Rutgers so we could take a big trip together. But then everyone kept talking about their spring break plans, traveling to Cairns, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, driving to Brisbane, and even going across the country to Perth.

I felt like I was missing out. I felt like I made a huge mistake in waiting so long into my study abroad experience to travel. And, to make matters worse, our spring break was during my birthday. I honestly didn’t think any of this through. Then, it hit me that I would be completely alone on an empty campus for two whole weeks during my birthday. I kept having to turn down invites to go with my new Australian friends on trips with them. I couldn’t afford to do both. I felt so empty inside.

I immediately called my mother and cried to her about how much I regretted all of this. I vented for what felt like hours. She listened intently and I could feel her feeling for me even though she was over 10,000 miles away.

She said everything would be okay porque casi todo en la vida tiene solución.

I felt somewhat assured and hung up. About an hour or so later she called me back and said, she would be in Sydney in 2 days and staying with me for my two week spring break. I started crying out of pure happiness. I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t until then that I realized that I needed to be with my family for my birthday.

I never thought that in a million years I would ever be sightseeing with my mother in Australia. We even went to a little beach called Byron Bay for the weekend that I treated her too. It was all I could afford at the time. It was one of my most memorable trips and it was because of her.

I still don’t know how she even afforded such a pricey ticket but she made it happen. She rescued me. She made me feel so damn loved and I will never forget what she did for me. Ever since Australia, I’ve been wanting to take her on a trip so that she could feel that same way I did. I hope I can one day love my future kids the way my mother loves me.

Gracias, ma.