With Mother’s Day coming up in a few days, the question of “what to give Mom” reigns supreme in households all over America. Traditions abound for some (research has found that moms really do want gift cards!); others get a bit more iconoclastic (though a membership to a weight watchers group really does need some re-thinking!), and sometimes a son knows just what to do to make a mother happy, to let her know he loves her; to give her something that expresses the full spectrum of his gratitude.
But there are very few sons who can top Aba Atlas.
To be completely accurate: though the timing makes his gift a true Mother’s Day celebration, it was, in fact, a birthday present. For his mom… for his birthday. Let me explain:
On April 29, Aba, a Canadian of Ethiopian descent, posted a YouTube video via the IProjectAtlas page. It opens with him talking about his mother: how much he loves her, what she’s given him, what she’s sacrificed for her family, all intercut with him going to the bank and drawing out money. Interesting… as he makes the point this is all for his birthday celebration. After the bank segment, the video cuts to a foyer area in his childhood home, catching the moment his smiling mother, curious about what her son is up to, opens the envelope he placed on that table… the one with the money withdrawn from the bank. What follows is very touching.
Turns out, despite making only $30,000 a year, Aba had been saving his money for a good cause… his mother. He’d taken out a check, as his gift to her on his birthday, in an amount that paid off her mortgage. Her entire mortgage.
“A large amount of her stress comes from that house,” he says in the video. “She bought that house for us, for the kids, so that we would have a home to come to forever.”
When she opened the envelope and saw what he’d done, she spoke through hugs and smiling tears (as transcribed by Aba):
“Her: Tonight I will not sleep for fear of Dying of Happiness (Note: Ethiopian women can be dramatic)” he writes with humor.
Hi, my name is Aba Atlas. I made this video on april 30th which also coincides with my birthday. I had a long description before giving details about my life and my motivation that being said I decided to take it down because honestly those details dont really matter. I haven’t read every comment but im both grateful and awed by the response. You know when you put religion, intentions, money, age, ethnicity, sex aside and you really look at what this video is about you might come to realize that its about one thing. Love, showing your appreciate for that bond by helping someone you care about find their smile. The rest is minor details, the focus has always been and always will be, for me at least… Love.
Stay positive, keep hope alive and stay blessed. Pce.
I can think of no better sentiment to celebrate a birthday, a Mother’s Day… any day of the week. Certainly Aba has set a high bar, one few of us can manage, but it’s likely any of us looking for the perfect gift for our moms this Mother’s Day can at least share this thought:
“You ask me who my mother is,” he says in the video. “She’s the strongest person I know.”
Here’s the video: