Guam, where America's day begins, is a day ahead of us so I called my mom today to tell her how much I love her and how hard I was working to find work there so I could finally home and stay.

My mom and I have been a team since day one. I was born two months early. The night after she challenged a jerk in the bar where she worked to a race. He had been making disparaging comments about her all night and she finally had enough of his shit and challenged him to a foot race. She won. The next day she said she knew I was coming and like a typical Aries there was no stopping my early arrival. The doctor at the hospital was a condescending dip shit who refused to see her and told her to go home and come back in 8 weeks. My mom said that if he didn't believe her that this baby was coming now perhaps he would believe the head now coming out of her body. TADAH Hi doc, little help here. He gasped and decided to be a doctor in that moment and I spent the next two months in an incubator. 

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Mom has always been there. We have been through hell and even spent some time in paradise usually with hot fudge sundaes and scalloped potatoes not together or in any particular order. 

She ran away from my biological father when I was four. After years of abuse that came to a head when she had to keep me home from the babysitter one day because she didn't want to have to explain why I was covered in bruises. We ran away in the middle of the night. Ended up in Puerto Rico where she worked for Berlitz. After that we moved around a lot first with my grandparents and then to Saipan. I frequently flew seperately from her and always on an island hopper between Hawaii, Johnston Atoll, Majuro, Kwajalein, Kosrae, Ponape & Truk. I always remember the pilot talking about having to circle so people on the ground could shoo the goats off the run way. I was eight. It  was years thay I found out there was a direct flight and that my mom had scheduled these island hoppers as a measure of my educations. These days I marvel when I see people freaking out about little kids alone on subways. My mom and I had a separate togetherness that gave me room to grow, learn and also develop a passion for travel. 

We eventually moved to Guam where I spent jr high and graduated high school. I left many years ago and have often wondered about going back home. 

Maman suffered a stroke on 4 years ago. That was the last time I visited. It was a frightening wake up call for both of us and our lives were changed forever. Ever since her stroke she has struggled. And my heart just aches because I understand how hard and terrifying it must be to be such a spirited and independent woman and suddenly have that freedom tested by a cataclysmic health scare that suddenly puts your mortality front and center. She has persevered and yet in the past year I have this sense of urgency about going home.

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 I love her passionately and have been trying to find work back home so I can go back and be closer to her and help make her life easier.

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This is my mom. My champion. My shero. I love, admire and respect her with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I've tried to tell her how much she inspires and moves me but she always demurs and changes the topic because compliments and attention make her uncomfortable. She is beautiful. She is powerful. She is courage personified. I am lucky she is my mom.

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 Happy Mothers Day. I love you maman.

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