I was 10 years old, packing for my week-long 5th Grade Class trip to Camp High Hill and I felt terrified being away from home. I asked if you would put your kisses into an envelope for me. I needed some kind of reminder for when I missed you.

I remember slipping an empty, small white envelope through a slim crack of the door to your fingers , while you were busy changing out of your work uniform.

I could hear you loudly kissing into the envelope; I was confident that all kisses were accounted for inside the newly sealed envelope that you slipped back to me.

We were watching something on TV together in the living room and you had this annoying habit of randomly looking my way and asking me,

You know what?

And because I knew what was coming next, I’d reply with an annoyed,

what mom

And with a serious face, and a matter of fact tone, you asked me,

Do you know that I love you?

I would sigh and reply with,


And thanks to these random reassurances of your motherly affection for me, I never doubted that you didn’t love me, even during times that I probably disappointed you. I never felt unloved thanks to you.

These are my favorite memories with you. I’m sure there are more, but unfortunately my memory is as bad, if not worse, than yours.

You taught me that just because you aren’t there with me physically, I’ll be okay. You taught me that positive affirmations really do work and that I should stop being a lazy fuck and begin practicing them.

I can’t believe that you were only 27 years old when you had me. You were married to Dad and I was your 3rd baby!

And let’s be honest, I was the cutest.

Who the heck could resist a 13 lb cabbage patch doll???

I remember you telling me that after I was born, you were walking around the hospital for exercise and saw a nurse sitting with something hidden under her coat. You asked the nurse,

What do you have there?

And the nurse pulled away her coat ever so gently and responded with,

Your baby

If I am ever blessed with a daughter of my own, I will name her Clara Socorro. She will grow up knowing how lucky she is to be named after you.


You are the most white-washed full Mexican-American I know, who married an Asian dude you met while working on the Queen Mary. And as typical Mexican’s go, I have the best extended family anyone could ask for. I hope to never forget Nana’s bean & cheese burritos or Tata’s magnificent smile.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our major mother-daughter shit storms; some I wish that I could undo.

But, we are the sum of our parts, right?

We aren’t defined by this bad day or this bad decision, right?

We just do our best with what we are given.

And finally,

You know what? 

Do you know that I love you?


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