- Growing up I was always told how large my breasts were. By the time I was 15 my bra size was a 34 DD. I am currently a 36 DDD, and occasionally I have to order a size F through the Victoria Secret website (where I can find the only bra that fits me comfortably). First off I am not overweight, nor have I had any surgery to get my breasts this big. I honestly blame my mother, and her mother before her. In high school I had the biggest trouble finding things that fit me right. I wore a low cut top once and was told I looked like a “slut” by my peers. Then on I would wear button ups in hope to hide my breasts and would beg my mom for a breast reduction. She would laugh and say “people pay good money for boobs like those”… this didn’t help. When I turned 20 my back started hurting, the weight of my breasts caused me to slouch all the time, and my posture really isn’t that great. It was on one random night that I was feeling my breast and I found not one but 2 lumps. When touching them they hurt extremely bad… I cringed and began to cry. I told my mom something didn’t feel quite right and we set up an appointment with my physician. My doctor looked concerned and told me I was too young for a mammogram but I could receive an ultra sound. Walking to the ultrasound room was the longest walk of my life and the waiting room was hell, just thinking of all the possibilities. I thought to myself “what if it’s breast cancer?…what if they cut them off?, what if I can never breastfeed my future children?…What if I die?” I instantly regretted anything negative I had ever said about my breasts. Before I walked into the room my mom said “Don’t worry I am sure it is nothing.” I then was asked to remove all my clothing from the waist up and lay down with one arm up above my head. The ultrasound tech told me there was in fact two lumps in my left breast and I would get a call from my physician before the end of the day to tell me what it was. I went home, stood in front of the mirror and squished my breasts as flat as possible and cried. Turns out I may have been over dramatic about the whole situation. I received a call and discovered the two lumps were cysts. This was actually a relief and my doctor told me we would keep a close eye on it but I did not need to get the cysts removed. Three years later…yes they are still there and they only hurt when pressed on. But I am healthy and I have my boobs and I will forever appreciate them.
She stepped out of her working career to take on a very difficult job.
She picked up after us.
She dusted and cleaned our rooms.
She washed our dishes.
She washed, dried, and folded our laundry.
She washed, swept, and vacuumed the floors.
She scrubbed the bathrooms.
She cooked us dinner.
She fed us.
She changed our diapers.
She gave us baths.
She cleaned and bandaged our boo boos.
She took care of us when we were sick.
She drove us to our school events.
She was there for our cross country and track meets.
She was there for our awards assemblies.
She was there when we got in trouble.
She was there when we needed someone to talk to.
She was there to protect us.
She was there to comfort us.
She was there when we were happy or upset.
She was there to wake us up in the morning.
She was there to tuck us in at night.
She was there when we graduated high school.
She was there when we graduated college.
She was there to congratulate us on our first job.
She would scold us when we acted up.
She would remind us to be safe.
She would help us solve our predicaments.
She would play her guitar and sing to us.
She would come with us on our many hiking, climbing, and camping adventures.
She would go on many long road trips with us.
She would watch the stars with us.
She is always there when you want to call her.
She is always available to answer our questions on how to properly adult.
She keeps us up to date on family happenings.
She makes us laugh.
She gives us many hugs and kisses.
She gives us her love.
She puts us first.
She never takes a break.
She never calls in sick.
She never takes a day off.
My mother did all of this and so much more for me and my siblings so that we would grow up knowing that we are loved, that she is there for us, and that we could be anything that we want to be.
My mother is one of the strongest women, and greatest friend, that I have ever known.
Thank you so much, Mommy, for everything you have done and for shaping me and allowing me to grow into the individual that I have become today.
I will always carry your love, your compassion, your positive demeanor, and your soft heart with me. (:
- I am a Mother. I am a Marine.
I have always wondered what my children thought of their mom being a Marine, or if they even knew what being a Marine meant to me. When my eldest was in kindergarten, I remember a project she did. Laying down on the floor, tracing around their body, and cutting out the figure. They were asked to draw their mom or dad. My daughter brought me this camouflaged figure, accurate right down to the combat boots, dog tags and cover. I remember years later, sending her a picture from The Basic School. My roommate and I, sticks and grass in out helmets, machine guns, and Squad Automatic Weapon in our hands, “birth control glasses,” and our faces covered with green, black, and brown. She carried that picture everywhere for 12 weeks, telling everyone her mom was a Marine. Now as a teenager, she teases me when I ask her to do something, with “Aye, Aye, Cap-a-tain!” Until recently, I had no idea my oldest understood that being a Marine was more than just serving our country. It was a feeling that is often hard to describe. Patriotism, I think most of us call it. How do I know she understood and felt the same thing as you and I, and others who have served their country? She asked me to read something she wrote for school. It is about pain and suffering. It is about hurt and sorrow. It is about blood and tears. But is is really about Patriotism:
- Strength of a Mother
The last two and half years I have had the amazing opportunity to assist in over 100 deliveries of babies into the world. In those deliveries I have seen some of the most truly beautiful experiences that this world has to offer by one of nature’s most basic instinct. I have participated in cesarean, natural, pain relived, and many other methods of birthing that women may choose from. Every birth is truly a miracle and displays the amount of sheer power and strength women hold in themselves. All pregnancies have their opportunities to end with a negative outcome, where the birth of healthy baby does not occur. The one instance that I had to assist in a negative outcome of pregnancy truly displayed every ounce of power, strength, and love a mother has in her.
I had come onto my shift to find the morning team was back in the operating room with a mother who had an abruption, the placenta ripping away from the uterus. The mother was rushed back to the operating room where, unfortunately, the 23-week baby did not survive. The baby was given to my care and I had to allow the mother/father to bond with their now deceased child for as long as they wished. After about two hours of grieving they allowed the rest of their children to come in and say their goodbyes.
It is at this point that the epitome of a mother’s strength was exhibited because she was still crying and visibly upset. Before her children came in she stopped her grief and composed herself. She wiped her tears and straightened her hair back to a presentable fashion. She completely willed down her emotions of loss and heartache to allow her children to see her strength and remain calm. She understood if her children saw her distraught that they would begin to feel the same but she refused to have her children share her feelings.
The inner strength I witnessed from this mother was perhaps one of the most intense things I have seen in my 22 years of life and doubt anything will come close to it. I admire her strength because I know that nothing could have been more difficult than to will herself to neutral state for her children. She did not think of herself at all but only of her children at a time where it would have been more than acceptable to think of herself. The strength of a mother is immeasurable.
If zygote formation thought it was best
to bring you together by two of the same,
(those mirror-image outliers dancing around,
given two letters for name)
then how could a being so deftly created
be subject to torment from that other kind?
Forgetting the lesson of that criss-cross pair,
submitting the body and mind.
For it was not certain that I’d be where I am
and nobody destined that you would be there.
Statistically speaking, we had the same chances
of matching that twenty-third pair.
Meiosis ensures for a fair distribution
and so it seems rightfully sound to exclaim:
If our cells conclude that our gametes are equal,
why can we not do the same?
- Don’t Just Free the Nip, Free the Whole Boob
“Are you cold, Sally?” That sentence sparked it all. I had heard about a study showing women who went bra-less had perkier breasts, but after looking into it, was discouraged by the small subject group. However, when Sally responded explaining she was trying an experiment and seeing how people reacted to her not wearing a bra, it sparked something in me. That was November 2015 and I haven’t worn a bra since.
For a woman with a 32DDDD size, it shocked friends and family alike. “But don’t you need the support?” “But it hurts to not wear a bra.” “I could never do that, my breasts are too large.” “Don’t your nipples show?” “I would be comfortable. Aren’t you uncomfortable?” The first day was hard, yes. Mostly I was scared of what people’s reactions would be, and I felt exposed. But after about a week, I didn’t see a reason to put a bra on again. I am more comfortable than I ever was with straps digging into my shoulders and back all day. If you are wearing a bra because you think your breasts are too large not to, ask yourself whether it actually makes you more physically comfortable. My embarrassment is minimal at this point, nearly a year later. Yes, when I walk fast they jiggle. But wearing a bra makes me far more uncomfortable and unhappy. This turned into much more than an experiment for me, and I can’t imagine ever wearing a bra again. My first bra-less day at the gym felt natural as hell.
I still get reactions when new friends find out. Funnily, those who are supportive have become protective, prepared to respond for me, “Yeah, she hasn’t worn one since last year.” To each their own. I’ve always wanted to try new things and not wearing a bra serves me, my wallet, my body, and my health.
- I am asked all the time if I have a boyfriend. ALL THE TIME. Friends, supervisors at work, even professors have asked me. When I tell them “no,” they proceed to ask me “why not?” As if it is my “fault” I’m not in a relationship, or as if being single is a curse. Yes, I would like a relationship, but I am also really happy being single; I don’t feel incomplete being by myself, and I don’t need someone else to be my “other half.” I’m whole on my own, and I get tired of the questions that insinuate I shouldn’t be. At least I can be thankful that my mother doesn’t berate me with this question, and has raised me to be an independent woman.
- The Real Ladies of LA: Women of Strength and Integrity
This is a poem for the real ladies of LA as a valentine and special shout out of love!
They are around you,
In our faces,
In their faces,
In their breasts,
in their lips,
in their fantasies of You.
Noir Femme Fatales or Ironic Ingénues,
Cool Cosmedicated Corpses or Sunshine Bikinied Baywatch Babes.
Hustling Housewives and Kardashians consuming conspicuously.
Marketers use them to dim the lights of the real ladies of LA–
Los Angeles women they cannot dare represent.
They dare not represent the power that is present in the experiences,
character and contributions made by the real ladies of LA.
This fantastic poem was written by Dr. Sharon Sekhon. To find out more about the poem click here, and to continue reading, click here.
- My great grandparents moved to California in the 20’s. They initially lived in Oakland (before it was really sketchy) then they traded their property for a larger plot of land in Walnut Creek. Their property is now a multi-million dollar lot. They built their own house and started a family, all the documents were under my great grandma’s name because my great grandpa was an illegal immigrant. Soon the area began developing, lots of families were moving to the area, and the city contacted my great grandma about the property she owned. She was getting older and couldn’t maintain the property so she sold most of the land back to the city for development. The street they developed the homes on is named after her, Estella Court. She also kept lots of animals at her house and she had peacocks which were very noisy and her new neighbors petitioned her to get rid of them. So she donated them to the Oakland zoo, which got her lifetime admittance.
- I came to this country alone. Newly wed, my husband was the only person I knew. I did not know American traditions, culture nor, believe it or not, the language (as I came to realize that humor, spelling and nuance were quite different depending on which area of the country I was in). What I knew, as an immigrant, was I had to prove my worth. My children HAD to do well as many people told me they were HALF English, meaning they were only HALF American. Nope, my children are AMERICAN. My story is so small but my experience is not unique.
- I was 19 years old at the time in 1972 and pregnant with my first baby. My first husband who was going to be her father decided to paint my toenails BLACK with a magic marker..BTW in 1972 that was unheard of to have black nails of any kind..with those magic markers in those days you could NOT wash it off of anything no matter how you tried! So here I am GIVING BIRTH to my sweet daughter with my feet up in the stirrups WITH THESE BLACK TOENAILS!!!! Everyone that was there for the birth just kept laughing! Thanks a lot Tommy (my husband).
- My great grandpa Gonzalo was from Mexico City, and he would go back to visit his family a couple of times a year. Once he came back with a traditional outfit for his granddaughters to wear. But he could only afford one and my great grandma stored it in her special cedar chest. No one was allowed to touch it or open the chest except once a year the neighborhood hosted a parade and each year they would let one of the granddaughters wear the outfit in the parade. My mom. my aunt Pat, my aunt Linda, aunt Wilda, my cousins Yvonne, Charlene, and Laura all walked the parade in the outfit.
MOM as a Child
I want to wear makeup – you’re too young
I want to go on a date – you’re too young
I want to shave my legs – you’re too young
I want to go to a party – you’re too young
I want to join the military – are you gay
Sneaky Marine Corps
MOM as a Mom
I want to do gymnastics – let’s go get uniforms
I want to ride and own a horse – let’s do a budget
I want to run track & cross country– let’s go buy shoes
I want to have a Facebook account – research it and convince me
I want to go back to school – I need an identity