Motherhood Is Not for the Faint of Heart

In a Mother's Day tribute, one grateful daughter describes the lengths to which her lesbian mom went to love and nurture her despite rejection, heartbreak and poverty.

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I wore my quirkiness and thick glasses with flair and confidence. She encouraged me to graduate a year early and go off to college, although her heart was aching at the thought of seeing me leave. She saw me through my own heartbreaks, a failed first year in college, my first rocky years of marriage and the birth of my child. She is my confidante and my friend, and together we have come a long way.

Although my mother was judged in the worst and most unfair ways, she rose through the ashes -- a modern-day phoenix. I am so proud of her, and I aspire to be as strong. She went back to school and finished her education. She kicked a drug habit. She found a trade that she loved in construction work and has a successful career. She found the love of her life and is blissfully happy. She fought for me and got me back.

Our job as mothers is to provide shoulders for our children to stand on and pray that they grow wings to outsoar us. The best gift is to watch them fly and hope they look back long enough to appreciate who and where they came from.

So Mama, on this Mother's Day, I want to thank you for sharing your struggles. I want to thank you for teaching me how to be a woman and to trust myself as a parent. Thank you for accepting all of my faults and loving me anyway. I know that this small act of gratitude pales in comparison with all you've done, but it's the very least I can do. Happy Mother's Day!

Tina Fakhrid-Deen has been an educator and activist for more than 15 years. She just completed Let's Get This Straight: The Ultimate Handbook for Youth With LGBTQ Parents (Seal Press).

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