My mother was the most important and influential person in my life. A woman who made a lot of mistakes in her life and when it came to the children she had. She had 10 of them, but I feel I am the lucky one since she gave me birth when she was 45 years of age, so in a sense, she tried to redeem herself with me.
She was originally from Colombia and she emigrated to Venezuela in search for a better life. Sadly, she was never to find it and she poured her life in grinding poverty. My mother had virtually no formal education and she was illiterate until she was 35 years of age. She made so many bad decisions in her life, particularly when it came to men, most of whom had no responsibility for their children or providing assistance in their rearing. She never married, but she managed to have 10 children out of 7 men. That's a record for someone who was so poor. I was one of her children and the one who most benefited from her love before she died at a young age. She was 56 when she passed away from a heart attack as a result of a brain haemorrhage.
She was obsessed with her health - this si something I inherited from her as I must confess I am a bit of a hypochondriac myself. I remember as a child she would bring me to the Doctor twice a year for a full check-up to make sure that I was OK. Her health obsession, paradoxically, worked against her. Throughout her life, my mum tried to look after herself the best she could. I still remember her reading books about medicine and how to keep healthy. She used to take a lot of vitamins and Doctors believed that she overdid it so that's why when she had the brain haemorrhage, the excessive blood she had in her system didn't come out of her body, but it became a tumour underneath her brain and she died from 3 heart attacks as a result of it. Very ironic!
I was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, I was her youngest child and that's the reason she loved me so much and devoted herself to me in such a loving way that I now know I am such a happy person because of her love. My other brothers and sisters were scattered between Venezuela and Colombia. I must say she was very good to me, but she was not that great when it came to my brothers and sisters.I remember her being wonderful to me. I remember her loving me and making me feel I was the most special person in her world and in the world. Her love equipped me with the self-esteem I have always relied on and she always made sure I felt I was wonderful, special and fabulous. Oh god, I miss her so much!
I think she realized that she needed to invest all her dreams and hopes in my future. She was determined to ensure that I was emotionally well-looked after in every possible way.
My Mother died the 6th of July 1983, I was only 11 years-old. All I remember is a neighbour coming to the house, who was looking after me while she was in the hospital and she broke down the news saying "Carmen Jimenez has died" when I heard her breaking the news, all I remember it's me jumping up and down, inconsolable, it felt like very blunt sword penetrated my heart leaving breathless. I said it before on one of my blogs that I cried so much that I nearly puked. I still remember every single moment: The coffin, the funeral, the burial. The light of my life had gone out and left me on my own. I still think - even though I am nearly 49 - why? why? why did she have to die? Who knows?
As painful and sad as it is, I must see the positive side of this painful experience, she left me an unbreakable legacy: She loved me so dearly and so much that I am a walking testimony of her love and devotion. She laid down the strong emotional foundations for me to walk on and be the happy person I am today. Do I remember her face and voice? Yes, I vividly do. Her love is with me, in my heart, beating every day. What I remember the most - and this is what I will treasure forever until the day I die myself - I remember having a Mother who was wonderful and amazing. I always look at the stars and think, feel deep down in my heart and soul that one day I had a Mother and she was fantastic. Mummy I love you and forever miss you...