Mother’s Day Makeover Finalist: Magdalena Sidea


Andrew Sidea writes of his mother, Magdalena Sidea:

My mother, Magdalena Sidea, deserves a makeover for three reasons: 1) she constantly sacrifices to serve others; 2) she is under continual stresses; 3) she can’t help remembering.

My mother constantly sacrifices for others. She is the director of a pharmacy for a hospital in Chicago. She makes sure that sick people get the right medicines to feel better. She always has a meeting to go to, an inspection to prepare for or any number of other administrative tasks that often keep her late at work. When she gets home, she still manages to ask about my day and listen to what I’m going through. She also cooks, cleans, and generally keeps the home functioning at least as efficiently as she does the pharmacy. My mother is helping both me and my brother pay our college tuitions. She has had the same car for 11 years, but she has helped us reduce the debt we would otherwise have coming out of college.

Being a professional and a family woman has left her little time to take care of herself as she used to. My mother is under continual stresses. She gets home from a busy day of work only to find that she has more work to do at home, like cooking, cleaning, ironing, washing, and even some yard work. There are days when she will come inside from her gardening with dirt that magically appears on her elbow or nose and a stray twig caught in her hair (which she doesn’t realize is there because her hair is in disarray by the time she gets out to do some gardening). Other times, the steam rising from the boiling soups and vegetables she cooks causes her to sweat and her hair to frizz: all so we can eat something healthy and fresh. What would really help is a way for her to forget about work, to forget about responsibilities, and to feel good in the process, if only for a few hours. She deserves to have mud on her face and know why it is there – for a facial. She deserves to have her hair accented by something besides a loose twig. She deserves to have food made for her by the best chefs in Chicago.

My mother has a fantastic memory. Her memory has helped her advance professionally. Her memory helped her be there for my soccer games when I was a kid. However, her memory has its down sides. Since time has passed, my mother looks at old photos and wishes her hair were as thick as it used to be, her waist as small as it used to be, and her eyes as bright as they used to be. I have done my best to encourage her, but all I can do is give her a hug and kiss on the cheek to remind her she’ll always be beautiful to me because she’ll always be my mom. As she cracks a smile afterwards, I sometimes notice her smile start to break and her eyes start to tear up. It’s not because of anything I said, but because of the memories she has of youth spent working, learning, serving, fighting for her place in the world.

My mother sacrifices for others which places her under lots of stress and leaves her little time for herself. If anyone deserves a chance to relax, rejuvenate, and take time for herself, it is my mother.

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