I’ve been trying all day to figure out how to wish you a happy Mother’s Day. I guess I’m not quite sure how to do it, or how to portray how blessed I am to have you as a mom.
I don’t know why you had just one kid. That will never make sense to me. You and dad are amazing parents. I know that I was not the easiest child to raise, but I hope that you’re pleased. Mom, I always knew that I was super important to you, even though sometimes our relationship wasn’t so smooth. I definitely had my defiant streak in high school, and you still put up with me. Even in college, I remember times when I did not treat you well, and I even committed to live abroad for a few months before even telling you I was thinking about it. I remember that conversation, and I know that I hurt you badly. Being sick for so long has put a lot of strain on you I know, and I’m sure it is hard for you to live so far away. It is hard for me too, but I don’t tell you that very often.
It took me a long time to realize what a treasure I have in you. You know me better than anyone in the world by far, and you still love me. You’ve seen the ugliest sides of me and you still love me. I am always doing things to rock your world, and yet you are still my biggest fan. You have always been there for me through everything, and I have no idea what I would ever do without you. Your support, your encouragement, your wisdom…I could not have made it without them.
I guess growing up I was always afraid of being a disappointment to you. In a lot of ways, I let this come between us and our relationship and I’m sorry. I don’t think I’ll ever be half the homemaker you are, even though secretly, and I never told you this either, I want to be. You are such a hard worker and you are so disciplined all the time. The entire sky could be falling, as it often has, and the dishes still get done before you go to bed. Sometimes it would be midnight and everyone else was asleep, and you would be up finishing cleaning. I want to be like that someday.
Everyone knows you as a very comforting person. I don’t know how many times as a kid we would be the last people out the door of the church because someone was crying and telling you all they were going through, and you would always cry with them. You let your heart break for others, and whenever someone was sick or someone died, you would be the first one to make them or their family a meal and cookies…and of course, banana bread. In fact, I know first-hand this side of you. I know that every time I am sick and I am hours away from you…all I want is for you to be here. Whenever my heart is broken or I have a bad day at work, or a good day for that matter, I call you. I can tell you anything. There’s just something about talking to you that makes things better.
You always remembered people’s birthdays and anniversaries and sent them cards every year. I remember our calendar being lined with names on nearly every day, and you sitting for hours at the end of each year writing them all down on next year’s calendar. You keep AMAZING track of our family, and I thought this was normal until I went to college and realized some people didn’t know every single person they are related to four degrees away. Family has always been so important to you, and you stay involved in EVERYONE’S lives. This is so impressive. Every Christmas we pass around all the Christmas letters sent from everyone, and all the pictures we receive are put on the wall. Because of this, I know so many people that I have never met.
You were always trying to teach me things I didn’t want to learn, specifically cooking, budgeting, and organization. I often wondered how one person could be so good at so many things. I was having trouble remembering my name. You were always involved in everything dad was involved in, including leading the youth group and caring for the teenagers there. You always make it to several of the sports, drama, and musical activities of your youth group members. When you and dad talk about them, it’s like I have a TON of siblings, because you care about them like they’re your own kids. And when everybody in the church comes to you complaining about this, that, or the other thing, you always listen. You perhaps have always been the most informed person in our community, but everyone knows that what they tell you goes no further. Gossip has never been a part of your activities, and was always forbidden in our family. Thank you for instilling this in me at a young age.
You are like super mom, but also the best friend that I have ever had. I’ve had a lot of other “best friends”, and they have truly been important to me. However, they haven’t been through all this or loved me nearly as much as you. You always support me, even if you don’t always agree with me…and this is something that I am finding out is not the case all the time. Some of my closest friends have experienced the opposite. Thank you for standing by my side through everything, for always praying for me, and encouraging me to be everything God made me to be. You had dreams for me, but God’s dreams for me were always the most important to you. And you taught me how to make that the most important thing for me too.
So…happy Mother’s Day. Thanks for being my mom. Not that you had much choice in the matter, but you did and do a really good job. I hope someday I can be half the mom and the wife that you are. Thank you for being not only a great example for me to follow, but for continuing to walk with me through these crazy years. I think I have the best mom in the world.