This is your day. You’ve earned every minute of celebration for your 24 years of motherhood. You have walked with me daily through my entire life, and there is not one other person on this planet who can say that. You carried me through birth to now with so many things in between. I have faced celebration, sickness, grief, loneliness, transitions, huge decisions, and accomplishments with you by my side. You know more about me than anyone else! You probably know things about me that I haven’t even learned about myself.
I remember walking around the house holding onto the back of your shirt. Honestly, it was probably really annoying, but kind of cute too, right? I also remember being so sad anytime I had to leave your side.
Remember when I would ask you how old you were and give you a kiss for every year? And how I would sit in the backseat of the car and want to hold your hand from the front? I always wanted to hang out with you. Anything I was doing, I wanted you to be doing it, too.
You were present at everything. You took me to church every week. You came to every school event, and you even showed up at school. You went on field trips, to fall festivals, talent shows, Christmas programs, graduations. You took me to every gymnastics class, basketball game, piano lesson, and tennis match. You drove me to school and picked me up every single day for 11 years. You stayed home with me when I was sick. You got up in the middle of the night when I was scared. You took me to the doctor, the dentist, the orthodontist, and countless other appointments. Who knows how much time you spent simply driving for my sake?
Then I became a teenager. I got moody and downright mean. It took me a long time to realize that you were never mean in return. You always, always responded with patience and kindness to your sassy, sometimes disrespectful teenager. You never fought back or cut me down. You somehow managed to discipline me with just the right amount of sternness and love.
You always knew when I was upset. I knew I could never hide anything from you, which is probably what kept me from trying. Because you asked me questions and simply paid close attention to me, you kept me out of major trouble. You are responsible for that and deserve all the credit.
You helped me choose the right college. If you hadn’t encouraged me (or made me) go to Union one more time, I never would have followed God’s path for me. I wouldn’t have met my best friends, my husband, or found my dream job. Without your presence in my life, I could have ended up with a very different future all because of that simple push.
You moved me into college and cried when it was time to leave (I cried a lot, too). You made sure I was taken care of and called me often. You visited me at school and always welcomed me back home. You watched TV and ate ice cream with me every time I came home, but you also never complained if I had other plans. You came to Jackson for Bid Day, Variety Shows, and sometimes just to take me to dinner and buy me groceries.
Somewhere in between high school and college, you became my best friend. I finally realized that you’re the best mom I could ask for and should never take for granted. Maybe it was when Daddy died that I realized you are always going to be by my side, and that was the biggest gift. You stood with me at the visitation and funeral, even though you didn’t have to, and hugged me every time I cried.
You prayed for me to follow Jesus. You prayed for me to have a good future. You prayed for me to find a good, loving husband. Those prayers were all answered. You were there when I got engaged, and you planned my wedding alongside me. Somehow you balanced being so helpful without being overbearing (and that’s a special skill). You went to every wedding shower and took on all the planning that overwhelmed me.
If I could say one word that sums up your heart as a mother, it would be present. It’s something I took for granted for a long time, but you have always been present in every part of my life. You will come to Jackson just because I ask you to visit, and you will never miss an important milestone. You always answer the phone or call me right back. I never have to wonder if you’re going to be there, because you just will. Every time.
Thank you for being the best mom I could ever ask for. I hope I become a mom just like you one day! I love you.