Prison Radio
Richard A. Valdez

This is Richard Valdez calling from San Quintin, CA. The following piece is “The Unsung Heroes of The World: Our Mothers.”

With every passing year. It’s amazing all of the things that I can still learn about life. There are so many things that we often take for granted or paid much mind to, especially as children, teens, and young adults. All the realizations that come with age and personal growth, I now have a greater appreciation for, and I’m starting to have a better understanding of.

Take for instance, the job that a mother can have. This can be rewarding, joyous, fulfilling, and outright amazing at times. But on the flip side of the same coin, the job of motherhood can also be wrought with pain, stress, fear, and sometimes feel like one of the most thankless and arduous endeavors ever imagined.

I can’t speak for everyone in this world, but a lot of us do take what our mothers do for us for granted, especially when we’re young. Mothers sacrifice and endure so much for us every day of our life. The women that give us life, our protectors, our caregivers, our teachers, and so much more, deserve to be recognized for all that they are to us, because the mother’s job is far from easy.

I’ll be the first to admit: I put my mother through a lot while I was growing up. As I sit in a prison cell, my mother is dealing with a great deal for one of her own children: me. Being the second eldest child, the oldest boy, I had an obligation to help my mother by being a good role model for my younger brothers, a good son, especially since my mother was raising four of us on her own.

But I failed a lot at fulfilling this unwritten obligation time and time again, and yet her love never waivers. It’s the love a mother shares with her children and family. In any scenario and on any given day, a mother’s job, even in a two-parent home, is difficult, but as a single mother and the sole breadwinner of multiple children, can you imagine how hard this test becomes?

Now throw in four rambunctious and hyperactive kids, the mother’s job not only takes on even greater adversity, but it becomes far more difficult as well. And all throughout this, my mother always tried to do everything that she felt she needed to do to ensure we were never without. On asking her one day, “How did you do it?” knowing that me and my siblings were far from perfect little angels, her only reply was: “I just did.”

A lot of my realizations about motherhood really didn’t start to sink in until I began to see some of the same parallels between what my wife deals with on a daily basis and what my mother had to do when we and my siblings were growing up. This is not to say that individual epiphanies didn’t pop into my head prior to these realizations. However, just talking to my wife about all the day-to-day tasks and struggles on top of what’s expected of her work—and knowing the limitless effort, sacrifice, and willingness to do everything and most anything she can for our family, it really puts everything all into perspective.

The mothers of this world are the real life unsung heroes who superpowers are love and devotion—and whose lives should be truly cherished and celebrated always. I think the creator every day for the continued love and support my mother has blessed me with over all of these years. I am grateful that I’ve been blessed with a wife whose inner strength and love as a mother knows no bounds when it comes to our family.

It’s a shame that we mainly celebrate all of these women only once a year on mother’s day, because everything that they do for us, sacrifice for us, and demonstrate to us over our lifetimes deserves to be recognized and appreciated each and every day. They should always know just how much they mean to us.

So on this mother’s day, I just like to say thank you to all the mothers of this world, thank you to all those who helped teach us a lot of life’s lessons like what unconditional love truly is. To all those who sacrifice sleep when they had to be at work early the next day just to make sure we had the right medicine when we were sick, to those who work long hours not just at their nine to five jobs tirelessly and sometimes seeming endlessly only to come home to make sure we had a well cooked meal to eat, to the ones who made the time to cheer us on at our athletic events, talent shows, and recitals, to the ones who let us know they’ll always stand by us without uttering a word and merely through action even when we haven’t been or weren’t at our best, for the ones who traveled distances to come see us for a couple of hours to make sure we know someone loved us, and to the ones who take our calls no matter what may be going on just to ensure we have a comforting voice to hear and someone will always be able to have a meaningful conversation with, thank you for all of those things and a multitude of other things only a mother can and will do for their children and their families.

Happy mother’s day to you all. Our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, and great friends, mothers who are the real unsung heroes of the world. And thank you for all those mothers who came before them.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.