My mom taught me to survive. If that makes sense. She taught me strength, resilience, understanding and patience. After my dad died, she could have done what so many other women in our culture do, remarry and have someone take care of her. Or she could have moved back to Turkey. But she didn’t. She took the harder road. Worked shitty jobs to make ends meet, made us her first priority and stayed in the states to give us opportunities she didn’t have growing up. She dealt with ridicule from other Albanians because she didn’t raise us as strict Muslims but she just kept pushing on. She put every dollar she earned into us and gave me the opportunity to travel and learn from the world instead of just books. I am every inch, a product of her amazing-ness! She drives me crazy now but I couldn’t imagine anyone else as my mother. I have never been scared of anything life throws at me because of her. I have always fought for what I want and what I believe is fair and have always made family the most important thing to me, because of her example. So a quote….. well how do I sum up her awesomeness in one line? :-) It’s a cliche to say the most influential person in my life is my mother but she is.