A Broke Son’s Manifesto
I try to be a good son, especially for my mother.
She is a stern, fawning-over woman, a mother who on several occasions has chased me to my car with crates of food. To my frustrations, she dotes on me to take care of myself, to find a good girlfriend, a good job, a good diet, the fulfillment of which has eluded me to great extents.
Like most mothers, she is a paradox of extremes. Naive but sincere. Slow but intuitive. Airheaded but loving.
Despite this chaos, one fact remains true: she is the foundation of my existence.
For over twenty years, my mother has been the financial backbone of the family, working a rough accounting job to support our family of five. Though near retirement age, she is still investing 55 hour work weeks to close a debt gap that refuses to rescind. My father fell through the unemployment cracks long ago, a brilliant, intelligent man with a questionably low work ethic. For 20 plus years, my mom has shouldered it all—utility bills, college bills, food expenses, gifts back home to poorer relatives. Her heart is the size of a sun—twice as bright and thrice as warm.
I have two other siblings, both who have moved out long ago, both who help pay for expenses in honor of my mom. We are all college grads and as much as I want to attribute our success to innate smarts, most of the credit belongs to her.
It breaks my heart to come home sometimes because most of my visits involve her confiding in me, telling me how stressful it is to work her hours yet not have enough for retirement. How her brother back home has cancer, and how her mom is slowly succumbing to a disease doctors cannot cure because it involves medication my mom cannot afford. How my dad is an unsupportive, worthless breadwinner. How much she loves me and my siblings and wishes the best for us. Seeing her cry makes me want to take a knife to all the loan sharks and banks of the world for plastering a figure on people’s lives and relegating us to this fucking work-die grind. For making my mother cry. For pissing me off enough for me to write all this. My mom is a fucking trooper but even soldiers have their moments of weakness.
“All that I do, I do for you three,” she tells me. I am not one to permit easy tears but her sincerity has its way of cranking the tear faucets.
As her son, I want to be able to help her financially in the future (the sooner the better) in the way that she at least deserves for supporting me through this world. From its modest start 25 years ago to the fray that is my lingering post-college dependency, I have never asked for her help—she has always willingly given it to me.
Like Atlas, she has carried my world.
If I leave behind at least one major legacy, I want to be remembered as someone who has fought to support his loved ones. From my future kids and wife, to my siblings, and to most especially my mother. I’m a broke nigga now, one who has seen the best and worst of near-poverty. But I fucking swear to God that I will not let it stay this way. I will not be a self-loathing victim and I will not cop out on my responsibilities. I will try my best not complain no matter how fucked up the world insists on being. You have taught me at least this much, mom.
I will make you proud. I swear on it.
Let this proclamation shake the fucking core of the universe.