Who has ever loved me so intensely? Who believed in me when nobody did? Even when she saw that face that dealt her a blow, she found strength to fight, to believe that she would find a way out. The doctors said that this problem would never be solved; rather, it would get worse as I grew up, leaving behind trauma and scars.
I was born with a cleft lip and palate. How painful it is for a mother to overcome the difficulties of the journey! It was my mother who faced my first problems. She had to deal with people’s criticism, deal with the problem directly and, as if it were not enough, she had to be strong for the whole family.
During the operations, I used to be afraid, but she was always there to give me support. Only she could have done that. Her presence brought me assurance. Her care made me feel protected, her affection made me feel confident that everything was going to be all right.
Who taught me moral principles that I have kept until today? And why did her words give me so much power? Because she was, and still is a woman of balance. Nothing disturbed her—even when I arrived home from the hospital and was very upset. She knew how to control the situation; she would calm me down with her wise way of teaching me. She would always get her way with my big sister and persuade her to do what I wanted.
I faced far too many difficult moments for a 5-year-old girl—which was when I became aware of my physical imperfections, and that my speech was different from that of other children. What a terrible situation! My life turned into chaos. I suffered prejudice and was despised by those outside of my family.
My beloved mother did her job very well. She didn’t know that I was facing problems at school, and that I felt like an alien whenever we went out. She was always considerate, affectionate, and she would kiss me all the time. She would make forget the bad moments I endured outside. I had support at home.
I grew up in an environment of protection and also discipline. She used her authority to establish our limits and teach us moral principles.
She made me understand that I was the one who had to change, not the others. She taught me to value other people, to appreciate other people’s work, to serve, to honour, to love without limits, and the list goes on!
Everything she taught me was important, but what really stood out for me was that I had to be careful with my impulses. As a matter of fact, she was the essential tool that helped me recognise that I needed God.
She made me see the reality—a reality that was so painful to me. Many times I would fight within myself against the truth that I heard, but it was useless—the principles of fear and love were there all the time.
My dear mother, I want you to know that until today I look for a way to express my gratitude for everything you have done for me. Inside of me, you will never die! Never! No matter what happens to me, I will guard your advice under lock and key.
And do you know what? All your teachings, one by one, only did me good! I love you, and I would shout so everyone could hear that I love and admire you!
I have only one thing to say to daughters: honour your father and your mother, because we owe our lives to their sacrifices!
Published by Bishop Edir Macedo