For Ivana

by Victor Matkovic

167_8488597789_8283_nI. Love. My. Mother. Beyond the obvious reason, you know- the whole birthing of a wonderful young man thing- also for the many other reasons along the way in my short 35 years of existence. She taught me manners, compassion, respect, love, humor, morals, ethics, and the list could continue on and on.

As a child, she was the definition of an ideal mother. A compassionate provider and caretaker, my brother and I were taken care of on every basic human level. And though one would think that every mother would be like this with her children, as an adult, I’ve come to see of all the horrors other children go through in their lives because of the lack of a mother’s love and care.

When we were sick, I could count on being secure in her care. My parents being from Europe, there would always be some weird meal waiting in the wings to nurse me back to health, and day time soaps- yes, I’ll admit it- were a bonus when taking a sick day.

The neighborhood kids knew, whether it was coming home with me after school or playing games in our backyard during the summer, mama Matkovic would always serve up some sort of delicious snack.

My mother loved me and showed me how to love. She taught me about how to treat and be respectful towards women. She helped me through heartbreak in high school, she helped me through illnesses growing up. She took my pain and put it on her shoulders when I needed it.

She let me go out into the world and be my own man and make my own decisions. She didn’t try to control me or be overly protective of me. She let me learn things on my own, while always letting me know she was right there, even when she wasn’t.

She, alongside my father, always encouraged me to run with my dreams and pursue my passions. I felt spoiled in many ways. As I’ve aged, 167_8488607789_8748_nmy appreciation and love for my mother have continued to grow.

She’s also so much more than a mother. She has one of the best personalities I know. Her sense of humor knocks me out. She’s an artist, who has created thousands of arts and crafts, and is currently getting her ETSY store together. She’s an avid reader, whose knowledge of books might make a librarian nervous, and the most genuine friend to have on your side. My mother is one talented lady.

It’s cliche, but it’s so true; without my mother I wouldn’t be the man I am today. She’s an integral part of who I am as a person, a man, and she’s continuously a strong force in my life. From the many little things in life that she’s done for me and been apart of, to the many ways she’s helped mold me as a person, I love her for who she is, how she’s helped shape me, and the world around her. I could continue to write and write and write about my love for my mother but it just comes down to four words that will always be there.

I. Love. My. Mama.

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