By Marcia Mickelson
Her name is Lidia Corina, but her family and friends call her Cory. She is my mother and her sacrifices have brought to pass my successes.
My mother came to this country in her early 20's, leaving behind her home, her country, her family--her life. Leaving Guatemala was difficult for her, and she missed it. The U.S was a strange land with a language she didn't understand. Her sister and many of her friends came here as well in search of opportunities not found back home. My mother didn't adapt easily and longed for home. However, she stayed to build a life--she got married and had my sister.
Her home still called to her, and she went back to her beloved Guatemala for a time. That's when I was born--in Guatemala. I didn't live there long before she moved back here, this time, leaving her home for good. I wonder if she always thought she'd go back for that is where her heart is, but she didn't. She stayed here for me, for my family because she knew we would have opportunities that may not be found back home.
She made the sacrifice to stay here in the United States to raise her family, and it was a sacrifice for her because she loved her family and country. For that selfless act, I will always be grateful for the U.S. is my home, and I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. She gave up her home so that I could have mine.
Every sacrifice that my mother has made in her life has provided an opportunity of success for me. She never finished school; she gave that up to help provide for our family. She cleaned other people's houses so that one day I could have a home of my own. Where I am today, what I have in my life is all due to her and my father.
It was she who led the way for our family to be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If it hadn't been for her courageous step into the waters of baptism many years ago with no family by her side in support, I would never have joined this church.
All that I have--an American citizenship, a college degree, a writing career, an eternal family-- would not have been possible without her numerous sacrifices through the years. Those sacrifices, along with her continuous love have made my happiness possible. I know that there is not a possible way that I could ever show her how fortunate and grateful I am that I was born her daughter. And, I can only hope that one day I could be a fraction of the mother she has been and continues to be to me.