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Streetwise Feature: StreetWise vendors share memories of their mothers

Fri, May 25, 2012

When my daughter was born I was 16 and alone. My mom and grandmother helped me out immensely. They went way beyond the call of duty.
I was not an irresponsible mother. I never left my daughter to go clubbing or do drugs. I needed help because I went back to Lane Tech to finish two semesters of high school and I went to work.

The day my daughter was born was the best day of my life. She was beautiful. She was seven pounds, eight ounces and perfect to me in every way. I saw hope in her, that she could enjoy the things that I never could because of my disability: ice skating and maybe gymnastics and simple things like riding a bicycle. I wanted what everyone wanted. I didn’t want to spoil her but I wanted to give her a better life than I had had. But most of all I knew that no matter what happened from that day forward I would have at least one person that would love me unconditionally. That is the reason I named her “Joy” because that is how my heart felt the day she was born.

I promised to her that day to always maintain employment. I did not want to have her grow up like I did hearing the adults stress about what bills could and could not be paid. I needed to be responsible.

I also promised her to go back to high school and finish because I wanted her to know that education was important to be successful. If I did not go back to school I believe I would have looked like a hypocrite pushing her to be successful knowing I could not do that for myself.

I owe so much to my daughter today because of those promises, not only have those promises given her a feeling of stability but I have more pride in myself knowing I have not broken my word. I have even taken them further that I ever thought I would. I am graduating this
June 15 with my second associate’s degree and I will be starting Devry University this summer on my bachelor’s in technical management/accounting. I then plan to continue with Keller to earn master’s and CPA license.

But now I am looking forward to my new family life. I will have more time for home life in the evenings after work. I can cook, clean, and help Joy with her homework. She is 10 now. She is a happy, healthy 4th grader and I am remarried so it will be a new exciting experience all the way around. I owe all the thanks to Joy for keeping me grounded, and showing me how simple life can really be through
the eyes of a child.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Written by: Linda Carretero
StreetWise Staff


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