Saturday, May 7, 2011
Thank you letter to my mom
When I was really young, I clung fiercely to you. My siblings never had any fear to go out and conquer the world in their earlier days, but me, I was never more than an arms length away from you. As I grew, you actively encouraged me to go and explore more on my own. It was with great reluctance that I came out of my shell.
Then the teen years hit, and just as you had warned me, our relationship was strained. While I didn't have the adequate words, then, I was grateful that you were there for nearly every sporting or academic event. Victories and defeats, you loved me just the same. You taught me to fail with grace. You planted that seed of faith for me long before I could define it. One of the very special moments you gave me was that rainy day when after cheerleading tryouts when I was 12. I cried and cried because I wasn't immediately selected on the squad. The night before, you surprised me with a pair of brand name sneakers. A definite luxury considering you had insisted that you would never spend such money on a "label." You changed my shoes and I was certain that I was going to change my life. When I was dealt that defeat, you picked me up, and quietly drove in the rain to brunch. That was one of the few times where it was just the two of us and all of your attention was on me. You offered me few words of encouragement, but enveloped my body with an embrace that healed the hurt. In that moment, I discovered grace in defeat, acceptance despite shortcomings. In that single moment, I gained a greater level of respect and I began to see you more as a friend.
Of course, the remaining teen years were a struggle, but again, you were there to celebrate with me the happy moments...ALWAYS there for the lesser moments. I will never forget the pride beaming on your face during those happy times. Above the roar of the crowd, I could distinguish your whistle.
The other day I had a dream that my girls were grown and I was witnessing their victories. I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection on window and could see your face. It wasn't until I became a mother that I truly appreciated all you did for our family. It wasn't until I became a mother the second time that I appreciated the emphasis you placed on yourself to be better FOR the family...gracefully balancing faith, family, work, friends, and philanthropy. You're right: You told me" no" so many times you could easily say yes, but because you loved me, you had to say no. You told me I would be given a truly amazing gift in giving. You instilled in me that family will be there no matter what. My faith would lead me to where I needed to be, not where I wanted to be.
You are such an inspirational woman, a wonderful human being, and a incredible friend. I'm so very blessed that you are my mother. Thank you for everything.
Happy Mother's Day!