Noah Gonzalez's essay

"You'll be the only man I'll need in my life" were the words that so beautifully crept out of my mother's mouth and calmly laid within the caves of my ears some Saturday night many years ago, as I sat beside her after she rolled me up in my Winnie the Pooh towel in a cocoon-like fashion after a bath.

She smiled down at me, but mascara ran down her cheeks. "Mommy, how come you're crying?" I said sympathetically to her. She tried to remain smiling while holding back her sobs, "Because, baby, Daddy doesn't want me anymore." I didn't understand. ...

I was sitting beside my mother at this point still comfortably wrapped in my towel. She sat with her hands holding her face, sobbing uncontrollably.

I looked at her and said, "Don't cry, Mommy, it's OK. I'll always want you."

She turned to giggle a little to herself. I held out some of my towel so she could blow her nose. "And I'll always want you."

My mother has persevered through so much. From physical abuse to poverty. A mother figure, a father figure, my best friend. She's the reason I wake up every morning and strive to succeed. I'll always love my mother to the moon and back.

Noah Gonzalez lives in Weed and attends Weed High School.

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