Hormones Matter TM

A Tribute to Mom

May 9, 2012  |  Elena Perez


My mom passed away when I was 17, almost 11 years ago. She was radiant, compassionate, and determined. My siblings and I were all very close to her. She was my best friend.

Mom was an incredible individual – and I mean incredible.

She was a civil rights lawyer, the first Hispanic woman appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court, and she was elected to be the first female president of the Mexican American Bar Association (she turned down the honor when she was appointed to the LA Municipal Court). She was eventually appointed to the California Court of Appeals.

She was more than just an accomplished career woman, though.

Mom somehow managed to be the leader of my girl scout troop, sell lunch tickets at our school, start a drive for battered women, drive me to swim practice and surf practice, make it to almost all of my swim meets, yell at the top of her lungs to cheer us on at sporting events, and cook us an amazing dinner by 4 pm.

You would think that this would have made her irritable, but she was known for her bright smile, great sense of humor, and her ability to get people involved and interested. She was a morning person.

I was angry at the world for taking her away from me so early in my life, but I have come to learn how fortunate I was to have her as a mother. She made an enormous and lasting impression on me, and my sadness is slowly disintegrating to happier memories.

The world is not the same without my mom. But it’s not the same because of her.

I think of her often and smile.

What mom taught me:

Life is unfair. But you can do something about it.
Don’t waste your life sleeping in. Wake up.
So many people are less fortunate than you. Use your talents to help others.
You can paint that. It’s simple.
Don’t take life so seriously. Laugh.
Have fun! Dance!
Appreciate the ocean, the sunsets, the world.
Take the time to smell the rosemary, the lavender, the jasmine.
Life is short. Live.

Mom lived for a relatively short period of time, but she lived. I wish the same for you.