Honor your Creator: the pieces that make me


By Tristan Bugos


I often wonder if I would be the same person if it weren’t for my mother. I grew up in a single parent home along with an older sister. I don’t know why my mother never married my father, but as far back as I can remember she carried the weight of our little family on her shoulders. She was always happy, and always a willing participant in our lives. She drove me to my little league games, my sister to her cross-country meets, sometimes running back and forth from one side of the city to the other.

Through the years there were more sports and more locations, but she always found a way to be at the front line, cheering us on. For me it meant she didn’t hesitate to be the only mom among the dads when my Boy Scout troop went camping for a week. I felt uncomfortable at first, the kid with no dad but my mom with her head held high, kept up with the dads. I remember my friends saying my mom was cool and me being so proud. I often wondered if she got tired, coming home from a full-time job to cook, bathe us and read us stories. She carried it all but never once can I remember a complaint.

I remember when I was five years old getting really upset because I couldn’t complete a big puzzle. She looked at me and said getting mad won’t get you any closer to completing the puzzle. Take a deep breath and just do it. I think she wasn’t surprised when I finished it but she was so happy because I was happy. In the 8th grade when I won Honorable Mention in the Science Fair, my mom celebrated it like I had finished the New York marathon. I know now that my mom was teaching me the importance of celebrating the small achievement and not just the big ones. I also know that little by little she was building my self-confidence and the courage to take risks and overcome my own obstacles.

My mom was also the kind of mom who liked to try new things and see new places. It wasn’t odd that when it rained we would run out and dance in the rain. She made us feel a kind of freedom kids should feel, like the world was simple and free. She took us to Mexico to visit the great mountains and live life among a different culture so that we could get the experience. It was hard to understand how people didn’t have the bare necessities but my mom taught us they were people just like us. We gave to the poor through kind words or actions. My mom had a heart of gold, and she instilled in me a compassion I know I would not have without her.

The importance of a good education has always been a priority for us. She let us know that life is a canvas and we are the means by which we sketch our own path. I excelled in school because of her three words, Knowledge is Power. She made it seem easy, the more I tried the better my achievements were and she instilled in me a drive to always want to add my part in this crazy world and to make a difference.

I look at my interests now and see a budding journalist, a photographer, a future volunteer in the Peace Corp, and a young man waiting to build new software for the future. I look at my mom now and see her sacrifices. She is still at the front lines cheering me on every single day. I know now that had it not been for her I would not be who I am and for that I am forever grateful.