Throughout her struggle, Tina found a way to be a great mother and student. She entered Fullerton Community College with the goal of being a special educations teacher. Nonetheless, every day was struggle for her. Tina drove her sons to daycare, took night classes and never missed little league practices. I was astonished the dedication she had to being a proactive mother. For example, Tina joined her son’s school’s PTA, went to every parent teacher meeting and prepared snacks for their little league team. Tina always set her school schedule around her children’s needs; turning a two year community college process to a four year process.
Yet, she faced another heart wrenching setback. Her youngest son had been diagnosed with a sever type of asthma. As a result, ever fall her son inability to breathe forces dozens of emergency room visits. Yet, Tina never complained! She always talked about the blessing she has in her life. I couldn't understand why Tina wasn't angry at the world. I couldn't blame her, I would be! Finally, I just asked her why she is so happy. Tina told me:
“There is nothing more precious in this world than my children. When I grow old, the scars from the battles I face at school, work and home don’t matter! All that matters is that I am there for them when their hurt, sad or missing their father. They look to me to give them strength to survive being part of the working poor. We don’t have much but we have each other and that’s more than what most people have”.
Tina taught me the power of love. The love she has for her children motivated her fight the odds. Statically, she shouldn't have been able to transfer this fall. Yet, she rose to the occasion. Fullerton College gave the support she needed from peer, teachers and co-workers to survive being a single mother. More importantly, Tina can teach everyone that happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.
P.S: Her name was changed to protect her identity. Please don't be scared to tell me your story!