Human growth is dependent on both nature and nurture, and I have been more than fortunate to have been raised with the most accommodating of both realms. My parents were both lovely, pleasant, and hardworking people that provided me with healthy genes and unyielding love. However it is my mother who has nurtured and raised me to be the young woman that I am today. Her generosity, brilliance of character, and wisdom were so far unparalleled that I am honored, privileged and grateful to have been her daughter.
She raised me to be her image, to attend school and study diligently for it, to work outside in the fresh air on our farm to exercise my body and gain work ethic, to read books in order to escape from life when things were not as we wished, but most importantly to cherish and admire he bond of love between our family. After my father died when I was six years old, I never saw my mother weaken. She supported my three older brothers and myself with a noble head. The only time I ever saw my mother falter was when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Up until the time she began Chemotherapy she carried herself in the same manner as always, with assurance. Now with the treatment and disease she could no longer be certain how long she had left to live, and it was obviously frightening to her. When the cancer spread to her liver and the lymph nodes in her breast she could no longer work or take care of herself. Assuming all her responsibilities I became the new head of the house; taking care of myself, my siblings and ill mother while working and attending school, made me appreciate just how much my mother had done for me my whole life. The Chemotherapy, surreal in it's cruelty, tortured my mother physically, but it never once affected her character. Even as she was dying she carried herself with pride for the woman she was, mental strength for all she had endured, passion for the life she had led, and love, an unending pure love for her family. Escaping a life of poverty with an abusive husband in Poland and finding herself in a new country with a loving husband and children made her feel like she had been blessed like no other. Even when life became grim, relinquishing both the father of her children and her health, my mother knew how precious everyday was and to never spoil it. I have learned through her that I must never spoil life, it is far too fragile and wonderful to be wasted.
In the six years I spent with my father I am unfortunate to know little of him, but the seventeen I spent with my mother were the grandest times any individual could ever pray for, and I am infinity grateful to have been raised by Elzbieta Reckner, both my mother and eternal role model.