A lot of people refer to my mom as Hermana Kini, Mrs. Ramirez, Felix’s wife, the Pastor’s wife, Eric, Adel, Xochil’s mom, but to me, she is so much more than that. As we celebrate Mother’s Day this week, I thought it only proper to honor my mom, the #1 woman in my life. A little background on this quiet, mighty woman of God. She is the oldest of 15 children. She was born in North Dakota to a couple of hardworking farm workers. She was a middle school dropout, not because she wanted to but because it was necessary to help provide for her family. Her dad(Apa Juan) asked my grandpa(Apa Rafael) if they could park their mobile trailer on his property. My grandpa allowed him to do so and that was the start of something beautiful..but wait, before I go any further….My Apa Juan was a very strict and mean man. He wouldn’t let his daughters date, much less talk to boys. After some time, my dad got up the courage to ask my mom on a date. But had to go through my Apa first. That wasn’t an option, just asking my mom out. He had to ask my Apa first. After several times of saying no, my Apa finally said yes. But it wasn’t a typical date, with my mom and dad alone….oh no, they had several kids along for the ride. (You see the Duggars weren’t the first ones to come up with sibling chaperones) So off to their date they went…my mom, dad, several aunts and uncles (which were very young at the time). It made out for a very expensive night for my dad. But well worth his hard work and money, to go out with my mom. My mom is gorgeous, not just pretty but gorgeous…let’s all agree my dad was and still is a VERY smart man.
For years, they wrote letters back and forth, and then they got married. My dad was called by the Lord at an early age to be a pastor. Little did she know what she was getting into. My mom didn’t go to church when she was younger but through my dad inviting her and taking her and her siblings to church, she accepted Christ as her Savior and never looked back. She learned from Hermana Clysta de Armas the ways of being a pastor’s wife. She read for herself the Bible and prayed and got to know the Lord in an intimate way. She went back to get her GED and got a job for the Lake County School Board as a Title One Liason for migrant families. She gave her heart to these families and when she retired a few years back, they realized she was irreplaceable. Still to this day, nobody has been able to fill the shoes she left there. She worked in the same position for 35 years…there is a probably only a handful of people that still do that. They leave their job because they want something better or they aren’t happy with their job. But to stay at same job for that long, says a lot about her character, her work ethic, the respect she had from her peers. She could relate to these families because she lived in their shoes, she showed compassion and worked extra hard to help students succeed. That was her “secular” job, her full time job. Let’s move on to her other full time job of being a “Pastor’s wife” Like I said, she didn’t get to pick to be that. But I remind her that, she was called too. Not only my dad. Without the support of my mom, my dad would not have been able to carry out the duties of a Pastor. He has been the Pastor of La Primera Iglesia Bautista de Mascotte for more than 30 years. They have led the congregation together hand and hand. She has seen a lot happen in the Body of Christ, but she clings to Jesus, because HE will never let her down.
Growing up, she was always there for us. She was the baseball, soccer, football, cheerleading, band, Show Choir, etc mom. Attending our events, was her top priority. Every time my brothers would go up to bat or me go through a cheerleading stunt, I would see her say a prayer and hold her breathe. She was more nervous than wewere. She lived to see her children succeed. All 3 of us graduated high school. Adel and I are college graduates, a mom’s dream come true. She sacrificed and gave up so much so that we would have nice things.
Back in 2004, she stayed home from work because she wasn’t feeling well. That day, her life was changed forever. She got a knock at the door and she looked out the window, and no words were needed for her to know what those soldiers needed to tell her. She was overcome with emotion that left her breathless. That was the day that we found out that Eric, (my brother) went to be with the Lord, he was killed in action in Iraq. I asked God many times, why would He allow my mom, the sweetest, kindest, most loving person to experience that alone? Why did he allow my mom to find out alone…that her firstborn was gone from this earth? My heart hurt over losing my brother, but it broke more for my mom. Seeing her go through this tragedy was the worst experience for me, but do you know that, that is when God is stretching you the most. I still don’t know why God allowed my brother to be killed or for my mom to find out alone, but I do know that a mother’s love is not understandable. God knew she could handle it…He knew that she would need that few minutes by herself to cling to HIM in her greatest time of need. Some people think that quiet people are weak, but my mom is the strongest person I know. Not because of who she is, but because the Holy Spirit that is in her.
She is a wonderful grandma to 8 grandchildren. She loves them all very much and is constantly thinking of them and how to bless each one. She is a blessing to all of us, but something that is so helpful to me and my brother is that she picks them up from school daily. And takes them places they need to be. But the kids know that every Thursday is “snack day”. After school on Thursday, they stop at the store and she buys them all theirown special snack and drink. She doesn’t have to do that, (which I tell Jude that everyThursday) but she does it because she loves them. She is a staple at every game, award ceremony, music performance, etc that they have. They all know that ‘Wela’ is going to be there.
For me personally, she still serves our family. Not because she has to, but because she wants to. I look to her and see her loving what she does. The most special time for her, is when we are all together. Might be a little stressful, but she loves it. Love is an action word and she exemplifies this in her life.
She hasn’t had an easy life…growing up in the fields, beinga Pastor’s wife, being a full time mom and full time worker, losing her child to death, and now the best grandmother we could ever ask for.
I named Avalyn after my mom. Avalyn Maria. Not because it sounded pretty, but because I want Avalyn to be like my mom. I want her to follow the Lord all the days of her life and not grow faint, especially when times are hard. I want Avalyn to have my mom’s beauty. I want Avalyn to have my mom’s hardwork ethic. I want Avalyn to have my mom’s sweet spirit. I want Avalyn to have my mom’s praying heart. I want Avalyn to have my mom’s strength. But most of all, I want Avalyn to be the Proverbs 31 woman that my mom is.
Love you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day