In Honor of Our Mothers, the 'Glue' that Holds Us Together
I have learned so much while living in Puerto Rico the past six years, but one thing that has really stood out is the importance of family. This emphasis on family is something I witness every day from the mothers on this island who are strong, intelligent, and self-sacrificing.
My realization really came to focus after the passing of Hurricane Maria last September, when I witnessed the true sacrifices mothers make for their children. I saw mothers send their children to the U.S. to live with family so that they would not have to experience the turmoil here on the island. I saw mothers take in children that were not their own, to feed them and give them somewhere to sleep. I saw mothers hold their families together, through the toughest of times, keeping their strength and optimism when no one else could.
The turmoil that was brought by Maria gave me the opportunity to also focus on my mother and the sacrifices she has made for me. From teaching me how to be a respectful human being, to working many late shifts at the railroad yard so I could attend school, she has always shown that same motherly commitment of making sure I was safe. When I was finally able to call her after the hurricane, our conversation made it clear that she was what keeps us connected even though there was no way to communicate the devastation I had seen.
The acts of love I've witnessed from mothers to their children over the past 7 months have also reminded me of the importance of family, and the importance of the glue that holds families together -- mothers. I have learned that the mothers here in Puerto Rico are strong women who have a very soft heart for their children. In the era of 'me,' they are always focused on opportunities for their kids, not themselves. They teach their children to reach for their goals, but also know when to step in and intervene when bad decisions or safety is at hand. And most especially, they have a fierce sense of pride in their families.
There are 2 billion mothers around the world, and though they are different from country to country, they have one thing in common -- their love for their children. During the good times and the bad, the love they have for their children is endless, unconditional, and strong.
I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by great women throughout my life who have shaped the foundation for the person I have become. And this Mother's Day, I would like to recognize the mothers in Puerto Rico who I have watched sacrifice everything over the past several months and who I see continuously and graciously give so much to their children and their families. Happy Mother's Day and thank you for all that you do.
*Mark E. Curry is a leading entrepreneur, philanthropist and impact investor. Curry founded SOL Partners in Puerto Rico in 2012, and in January 2017 completed acquisition of NotiCel. As Chair of the Mark E. Curry Family Foundation, he invests in critical community charitable organizations.