Margarita R. Villafane
September 26, 2004
Many people have influenced my life in some way, and some of them have made important influences in me. But there
is just one person, a little one, who keeps making big changes in me. He influences my life in the best way that I could
ever imagine. In fact, I am going to write about this person in this essay and I'll try to make clear for you why I think
this way about him.
It is my four year old boy; Matthew, who makes me feel the most beautiful emotions that I have ever felt. He is capable
of switching me from sadness into happiness with almost no effort. He notices when something is wrong with me and immediately
gives me his most beautiful smile or tells me things like "I love you, mom"; or "you are my best friend"
and covers my face with kisses. Having my son close to me is a kind of guarantee of happiness. He makes me feel fortunate
and in my way of thinking; anything that makes you happy is good for you and is able to influence you in a positive way.
Therefore, based on my own experience I can affirm the above statement to be true and I am very convinced believing that life
works this way. Proof of this is how I feel most of the time. My life is full of happiness thanks to Matthew and my husband.
They have brought a great emotional stability to my life, which is reflected in my relationships with the people I interact
with day by day and in every single thing I do.
Since my son was born, I feel that I am living for something and for someone. He changes my life perspective. Once
I thought that hanging out with friends, going with them to nightclubs, caring about fashion or material things were important
things that I needed to make me feel good, and now my way of thinking has changed. Today, such things as sharing everyday
things with my family, which strengthens our feelings, doing my best to help my son grow and trying to attain the best future
for me and my family are the priorities in my life. When I was younger I didn't realize what was really important; now I do.
The deep feeling that grew inside me since his birth has created in me a strong sense of responsibility and the commitment
to doing my best every day, this being one more reason to say that Matthew is the most influential person in my life.
It was the day that my son was born, that, a deep change started inside of me. In that moment I knew that everything
would be different. Life would become more difficult and demand more from me than anything else before, but the strong feeling
that was growing in me was giving me strength that I had never had before. Matthew was a premature baby with complications
at birth. His lungs didn't work properly. Having been born at 32 week of pregnancy, his lungs weren't mature enough to breathe
on their own. Therefore, he required life support during his first twenty one days where his underweight, 1,500 gr, and his
high levels of biliruben made the situation more complicated. In effect, I had to face the risk of losing him and together
we lived the toughest moment of our lives.
Matthew's birth demanded big sacrifices from my husband and me. It meant having to leave my studies and dedicate
my time to take care of my son 24-7. Meanwhile, my husband had to work very hard in order to pay for all the medical bills.
Even Matthew had to do his part; he had to struggle for his life during those twenty one days.
As a result, it created an unbreakable link among the three of us. Those first days of my son's life were filled with
uncertainty, but they taught me much about love and those lessons will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Without a doubt, the most important thing that Matthew has given to me is the opportunity of knowing the real meaning
of what love is. From my new way of seeing life, love is total and selfless giving, where there are no limits or barriers.
Love is given without needing anything in return. Before anything, love is peace and happiness. Until, his birth, my perception
about love was shallow and maybe wrong, but with him I have learned that love is an act which is better enjoyed when given.
Love is the purest feeling that a being can enjoy. Love brings brightness to your life and Matthew gives that to me. I can't
think of any other person that has influenced my life this much. Since Matthew came into my life, he is and will be the one
who makes me a better human being, more sensible and conscious about what life is and how love can change anyone. No one
could influence me more than he has; he is the most important person in my life, my son, Matthew.
After four years as a mother, I can say that not just the smartest or oldest adults can influence or teach others.
Although my son is a little one, he shows me every day how powerful love is and how innocence, dependence and affection are
feelings that can make positive changes in a person. In effect, today I have a clear idea what my mission is and also I know
that I have a big responsibility that I cannot fail. I feel the commitment of giving back the many things that Matthew has
given to me which have helped me to grow. My mission is to help Matthew become a great man. I hope his children can teach
him about what's important in life, just as he taught me.