(by Clisver Alvarez)
The two of you have shaped me into the woman I am today. Because of you, I can take on whatever comes my way. You have given me the strength to keep pushing forward and withstand a thousand storms because for you, I'd do anything.
To my mom: Thank you for standing by me when times get hard. I appreciate the exemplary example you set and the values you gave my siblings and me. (One that stuck is to work hard for what you want in life or it won't feel as good.) Now I get to follow in your footsteps as a mother myself and teach my two children the way you once taught me. Thank you, Mom.
To my daughter Zoeh: Your grandmother is truly a blessing. She has taught me everything I know, including her secret recipes. How I loved cooking alongside her, making her famous fried chicken and yellow rice. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Cooking with her was messy but so worth it. She was always a patient teacher when teaching me (but she enjoys being the head chef a little too much). I definitely plan on cooking with you when you’re old enough, Zoeh. Meanwhile, I love our pretend cooking with your dolls’ cookware.
How I miss those times. I'd give anything to spend those days with your grandmother again, listening to her sing in Spanish, her favorite bachata or merengue music, as she'd clean the house while your aunt, uncles, and I slept in. Now it's just me singing and cleaning while you and your brother get to sleep in.
I always loved the sound of my mother’s laughter—she laughs so hard that she makes me laugh just from hearing her. She is so caring, always putting those she loves before herself. When my dad got sick, she was there for him until his last breath. Zoeh, your grandma has taught me to be strong during times like those. She's been there to support us and guide us onto the right paths all our lives.
Now we live 18 hours apart in, Mom in New Jersey, me in Tennessee, video-chatting every day. If only I could repay everything she’s done for me. Thank you, Mom, for being my rock, for bringing out the best in me. You are my sun shining brightly every day, and I am forever grateful. Gracias.
Clisver Alvarez is a mindset and mental health coach who lives in Jackson, Tennessee. She can be found at bluegreislifestyle.com.
Mom’s Fried Chicken Drumsticks
1 package Knorr chicken bouillon powder
pinch of oregano
pinch of black pepper
juice of 1 lime
8 chicken drumsticks
Combine bouillon powder, oregano, pepper, and lime juice.
Cover, refrigerate, and marinate for 1 hour.
Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan or pot.
Dip chicken in flour and fry until fully cooked, golden brown, and crispy.