"Every Mother Has a Story"


When I was 4 years old, my Dad passed away. My Mom had to raise my sister and me as a single parent. It was very hard for her. Mom started to work several jobs to raise us and give us a good education. She had to become a cleaning lady to clean the floors in the medical academy at night, where she worked as a librarian during the day. She had to tend to the vegetable and fruit garden Dad started. After her day work she would take a 40 minutes ride on a crowded bus and 30 minutes walk up the hill to get to the garden. It was easy and fun when Dad drove us there in his car, but she had to sell the car after he passed away. She worked in the garden until the dusk and then commuted back to the city. However, she loved it. It was her sanctuary. The fruits and vegetables from the garden supplied us with food all year and gave her an opportunity to sell some in the autumn.

Raising me was a challenge. I was a difficult child. There was an issue with my expulsion from my high school because of my low grades. My low grades were due to being constantly bullied at school, so I skipped the classes a lot. My Mom literally dragged me by hand to another school. She asked the principal and the teachers to give me a second chance at their school, and they did. My graduation essay on the work of Anatoly Pristavkin "A Golden Cloud Spent the Night (1987)" (the book my Mom suggested me to read) was recognized as one of the best in the state. She was given an honorary diploma for the good upbringing of her son at my graduation ceremony.

When I moved to America, the first day on the American soil I realized how much I left behind. I got scared and sad. I thought about going back right away, but I was too proud to do it. So I decided to call Mom. I kind of wanted her to make a decision for me. She listened to me and said: "Roma, you have a visa for a year, so stay just for one year and try it you really wanted to be there." I listened to her advice, and I stayed. Even though she wanted me back and close to her like in old days, she advised me to do what was good for me. She did understand that she might not see me again.

Mom always drew my attention to something beautiful by saying: “Roman, look at this beautiful flower!”, “Roman, look at this beautiful sunset!”, “Roman, look at this bird!” I was a teenager, and for me it was incessant and embarrassing. Now I see that she has influenced my photographic style with her admiration of the Nature’s beauty.

Every Mother has a story. Think about your Mother’s story. Send her your blessings wherever she is. The blessings will cross time and dimensions to reach her.
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"Mother's Hands"
(Blagoveshchensk, Far East, Russia, Spring 2004)
The photograph was made after Mom worked whole day in the garden.