Mi madre is Spanish for “my mother.”
Mi mama is Spanish for “my mom.”
But somehow, it becomes difficult to explain what mi amá means.
See, the word ama can be used in the phrase ama de casa, which translate into English as “housewife.” It can be used on its own to mean “loves” or “of or relating to love.” (Yes, my own personal way of defining it.)
Lets take into consideration the following sentence: El la ama. If we translate it, it comes out as “He loves her.”
And ta-da. maybe I’ve found what mi ama means…
A housewife who loves.
A housewife I love..
Maybe, probably, partially…
Mi amá, with the tilde over the última sílaba means LOVE. She means MOM and MOTHER and MINE and MORE..
Mi amá is Energy.
Staying up from the time she wakes (4AM) to make her husband lunch for work and falling asleep until past midnight due to her uncontrollably hyper children honestly sucks!
Mi amá is Strength.
Patchy childhood. Poverty. Absent father. Across the border mother. Two younger brothers to care for. Fifteen. Mother to her siblings was the only reasonable thing to do. How she did it? Only God knows.
Mi amá is Trust.
The best secret keeper in the world. There are things I am too scared to tell people. But with my mother, everything just rolls out. They say you need to give to receive, its true. There’s this balance in my life with my mother listening to my chatter, giving and receiving advice, living life in mutual harmony because of the trust in each others words…
Mi amá is Enough.
Does she not ever get tired of being the rock to hold the family together when it’s breaking apart? Enough goes beyond my expectations, because she does not give enough, she gives it her all.
Mi amá is Love.
Who else would give up their entire life to care and nurture and teach six little human beings to love one another the way they are? Who loves more than a mother? Who gives up their food to feed another? Who takes off their shoes to protect another?
Mi amá is Intelligence.
Remembering when I was seven, how did a native Spanish speaker like my mother, who had no previous knowledge of the English language, manage to help me on my homework every evening after coming home, tired from work? Who else can say they know enough despite having dropped out of school by the 8th grade?
Mi amá is Admiration.
For everything she’s taught me. For everything she’s told me she’s lived through. For everything she hasn’t told me about. It still amazes me how one woman can live through so much and still be the sanest person I know. The most loving, despite her childhood. The most reasonable, despite the machismo that surrounds us. The most understanding, despite being so misunderstood. The most accepting, despite her legal status.
My amá is ESTELIA.
She is my favorite person. My warm blanket on a cold winter night. My shield when I need protection. My sail when I need direction. My little light at the end of the tunnel when I am lost. My inspiration when I lose hope. My star when it grows dark. My anchor when I need help keeping my feet on the ground.
And with all the little bits and pieces, I love her for everything she represents in my life.
I am my mother’s daughter, la hija de mi amá.
Y siempre la amaré…