"We talk for hours, we laugh till tears"
By Anna Sokolova
My mom was the 5th child. Pregnancy took my grandmother as a big surprise. Grandma was in her 40ís, already raised 4 children, survived Revolution, World War 2, hunger. Having a child was definitely not part of her plan. However, my mom was born into this world, in 1948. Only 3 years after World War 2 was over. She was loved by her family, but meeting the needs was not easy task for my grandparents.
Mom was very bright child and did very well in school. The year that my mom was going to finish high school she ended up in the hit and run car accident. She had very bad head damage, paralyzed face and a lot of broken bones. Doctors told her that going back to school was not an option for her and gave her paper to exempt her from the final exams of the High School.
Thatís why I am so proud to tell you that she graduated with what you would call in America Master Degree in electrical engineering. It was very tough subject. Mom was one of the only few girls who graduated that year. It was not easy. First year that she applied, she did not pass the entrance competition in one of the elite colleges in the Saint-Petersburg, Russia. She came back to her parentís house and spend year of studying math, physics and other subjects. She was accepted by the same school the very next year. She shared with me having terrible headaches in the school and sometimes forgetting everything that she learned (result of her accident). Against all odds, doctorís papers, damaged health this motivated woman never gave up evolving to be a successful and well respectful engineer.
For my dad and I, who could cry reading poetry, mom always appeared as not been romantic or idealistic. I remember that my father never could forget the fact that she threw away his love letters that he wrote to her before they got married. He was very upset. My mom till this day doesnít understand why. It was just a box of junk to her.
At same time she has very kind hart. It was my mother who took care of her parents when they became old. It was my mother who volunteered to raise my cousin who lost his parent. My mom is always there when needed, taking on difficult tasks when nobody else wants to.
The way she was raising me was not typical for the Russian families of that time. Despite Soviet agenda she always taught me to think for myself and not follow crowd. She inspired me to be different. She convinced me that learning new things is exciting. I loved going to school. She taught me that having college education is a must. I might need to mention to you that in Soviet Union having college education did not bring you more money or gave you as many advances as it is in America.
Mom did not like to spend money to buy fancy thing to display. She rather enjoyed making sure that we had fun vacations, had all kinds of entertainments (such as attending theaters, concerts, having parties) and taking any types of the lessons that I wished. Besides having yearly family vacations, she would also send me to couple more trips for kids of my age. It exposed to me to many different cultures of Soviet Union; their art, customs, architecture.
Another point of her difference was that she did not support teaching me any domestic skills. My lack of cooking, sowing, gardening abilities partially came from my momís objection for me to learn it. She had to do all of those things herself. She wanted better life for me.
Mom always amazed me with wisdom of never interfering in my personal life or giving any kind of advices unless I asked her for one. However she is always there to help if needed. Mom managed to be not only my mother but my best friend, person that I love spend time with. We talk for hours, we laugh till tears.
I know for sure that I never will be where I am without my mom. I really hope that she lives past 100 years and keep bring joy to peopleís life. I often hear that a lot of people would say ďI become more and more like my mother or I hope I never become my mother.Ē As for me, I only wish I could be more like mine!
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