I’ve always found it amusing, the way the world paints the picture of a strong, masculine, decisive man… as compared to that of an emotional, gentle woman. Those who have had the opportunity to know Patricia, know that she is anything but soft. She is, by the very definition, a powerhouse of a woman.

Being a mother was never a job to Patricia; it was something she took pride in. She raised seven children, all of which have grown to be successful in the path of their choosing. Though her story and character run deeper then her maternal instinct, this role is one that I deem of upmost importance… as it is, of course, how I came to be.

My mother taught me how to endure, in the toughest of times, never allowing me to quit. At 19 years old, I faced one of my toughest life obstacles yet, when after months of doctor’s visits, I was diagnosed with a Schwannoma tumor in my cervical spine. Losing the ability to control left side function and sensations, my mother was determined to keep me strong, not just physically, but mentally. The days leading up to my surgery were of the most memorable, as she refused to let me sit around and sulk. Patricia is not one for feeling sorry for oneself. My Mom and Dad drove me to the beach (in January) to get salt water taffy and pizza, they took me to hibachi, and every other weird adventure that my mind could possibly draw up. Today, despite many months of physical therapy, I'm convinced it was the neighborhood walks that forced me back to reality. It is an experience that no one would know I went through, unless I choose to tell them, and I know that she was the driving force that got me through it. My mother lifted me up when I wasn’t able to do so myself.

My mother is the most selfless person I have ever met, always putting others before herself. Now, in her 60’s, she is trying new things that she was never able to experience before. In the spring of 2017, she hopped on a plane and flew out to Alaska, her favorite place in the world. Quite impulsive, yet fulfilling: a lesson we should all take from her. Her philosophy is that you’re never too old or too good to learn something new. My friends are always shocked to hear that she is on Snapchat, but they haven't even seen her bitmoji! This motto has pushed me to continue learning and continue growing.

It is every day that I realize how lucky I am to have a relationship with my mother that has grown to a friendship. She is independent and fierce, she is strong, she is selfless, and I hope by some luck that one day she can view herself through my eyes.

P. Cox Color

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