Tears of “Happy”

After landing a job as a staff writer at the local newspaper, in my mother’s eyes, I’ve “made it” because I work for people’s stories. I’ve felt guilty for thinking I’m not quite there yet because this is just the beginning. But for my mother, to finally have me working at a desk after her long hours at the factory hog farm while numbing the pain of her hand deformity with medication to pay off my college out-of-pocket, I’ve definitely made it.

I don’t know how to pay her back. If what I’ve already accomplished is enough for her, then I can’t wait to see what furthering my writing career will do. But I’m still stuck wanting to do more for her.

Seeing my name in print for the second week in a row made her cry in our kitchen. She was hugging me, and I didn’t know she was crying at first until I realized she didn’t want to let me go. I asked her why she was sad and my dad quickly said, “Happy.”

While I was in high school, she always told me to pursue an education so I wouldn’t injure my hands or my back like her and my dad. Now, whenever I’m in the office and it’s nearing 9 a.m. I think of her administrating vaccination shots to piglets while I’m writing or proofreading. I can’t help feeling upset because for the most part she will always be burning herself out for her children and I still don’t know how to pay her back.

Published in the St. James Plaindealer on July 18th, 2019.

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