Dear Mom, Have I Ever Told You?

Dear Mom, Have I Ever Told You?

You're appreciated.
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Dear Mom,

I just wanted to say thank you for being the best role model a girl could ask for. For all those times that I complained about something that seemed like such a big deal at the time, thank you for keeping me sane and assuring me you just want the best for me. Although often times I don't show it, I would be lost without you.

Your constant guidance has taught me many things throughout these years. Without you, I would never know right from wrong. Whether it was as simple as an inappropriate outfit I wore at the age of 16, or as stressful as what I want to do when I grow up, you have always been right there guiding me in the right direction.

Your constant love inspires me. You never fail to cheer me up when I'm sad, or send me an "I love you" text message, just because. When I'm having a bad day, one minute I'm in the best mood ever and the next I'm miserable and for some reason you don't get upset.

I know you will always tell me the truth. Whether I want to hear it or not, you know what's best and you make sure I know that. I know I can always look to you for advice because you will tell me how it is and that's what I love about you.

Thanks for being my biggest fan. Ever since I was a little girl you have been at everything. Every awards ceremony, every sports game, every dance recital and every birthday party. Rain or shine, I know I can count on you to be there and to be honest, that's the best feeling in the world.

You're my "go to." If I have a question involving school, boys, friends, work, a sickness or dinner, you know the answer. They say moms know everything and they're not wrong. I don't know how you do it, but your intelligence amazes me.

Lastly, thank you for being my best friend. I wouldn't be the person I am today without you. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have a mother like you and I wouldn't change it for a thing. Even though we have had our fair share of disagreements, we make up for it with all the good times and memories we share together. I just want you to know, you are the best mom in the whole wide world and I hope someday I am half the woman you are.

Love Always,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Jill Alaimo

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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11 Things I Learned About Having Long Distance BFFs

You get jealous of their local friends.
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Having best friends that live halfway across the country is easily one of the most rewarding— and frustrating— blessings. There are some things you learn about having a best friend who’s not present in your daily life. Invaluable things that end up saving your ass more often than not. Here's 11 things I learned about having long distance BFFs, and if you have some too, don't hesitate to let 'em know how much they mean to you.

1. You will always have an open “vacation” spot.

Doesn't matter if it's Wisconsin, Mississippi, New Jersey, or North Carolina; I always have somewhere to go, even if it's not a traditional "vacation" spot. I'm always down for the most, "nonrelaxing vacation ever" playing auntie to my favorite babies.

2. No time is too much time.

The first two days seem to drag before you find your stride (unpacking, setting up, etc) and then suddenly time is flying in hyperspeed. Nothing goes faster than a week spent laughing it up with your bestie and her fantastic fam.

3. (And you appreciate every second).

You can’t really get sick of her. You know you’re on borrowed time, and eventually you have to return back to reality, so there’s really no time to spend by yourself. You soak up every second you get with her because you never really know when the next time you’ll see her is.

4. You religiously stalk her life through any form of communication you can.

Sometimes I learn some of my best dirt from Facebook and Twitter. Sure, I learn more when I go directly to the source, but constant social media updates on her whereabouts aren’t so terrible either, especially if I don’t always have time to fire off a quick text (yes, we’re all really that busy).

5. You don’t have to talk every day to maintain a relationship (and you really don’t).

We can go days, weeks, or months without talking to each other and pick up right where we left off. The gossip is almost juicier that way. Besides, that’s how I know our relationship is built to last. I don’t need to spend every day with them, because we are just as close after time apart as we were when we did spend every day together.

6. You miss the crap out of them, constantly.

Nearly every conversation begins with, “I miss you SO much.” While missing each other when we’re apart is a really great indicator of how much we care, it’s also a glaring reminder that I don’t get to see my girls everyday. It makes me jealous of those who do have that luxury. Sometimes I’ll just be sitting, doing nothing really, and a wave of missing them comes over me so fiercely I could cry.

7. You never run out of things to talk about.

There’s always something to say when you do see each other again. Usually you’ve already kept up on the gossip so you don’t need to recap that, but you fall right back into the same old conversational patterns you had when you spoke everyday. You’ve probably forgotten just how weird they are (which is why you like them so much, if we’re being honest), and how weird you can be with them (that’s how you bonded in the first place after all).

8. You can be yourself with them.

You don’t have to worry about making them like you. They wouldn’t still be in your life if they didn’t. You know they know the real you, because over nontraditional means of communication (texting, phone calls, Facetime), anything goes. You don’t have to worry that they’ll be grossed out if you pee while they’re on the phone. After all, they used to stand with you in the stall, so…

9. Conversation flutters between old and new memories.

Usually when you see your local friends every day, there’s rarely a reason to talk about memories. You’re typically in the process of making new ones, or planning to make new ones. With long distance best friends, you have more time to explore your past. Old memories are just as important to talk about as planning to make some new ones.

10. You get jealous of their local friends.

You know all of the intimate details of her friends’ and families’ lives as if they were your own. And you're judging the shit out of that one girl who gives her hell and you're secretly jealous of her local BFF, even though you know she's too awesome not to have friends. Besides, you're also grateful that someone's there for her, especially when you can't be.

11.You couldn’t do life without them.

Do I miss being able to see them every day? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t trade having them in my life for anything in the world. We have gone through so many unspeakable things together: the good, the bad, and the truly ugly. They have made me the woman I am today, and for that I am eternally grateful. I couldn’t get through today, or tomorrow, or the next day, without knowing that they are out there in the world doing their thing and kicking ass. I couldn’t do it without knowing that sometime soon they’re going to have some great stories for me.

Bonus: You've seriously contemplated moving your entire life out to her at least once (probably more than once).

Wisco, here I come! Now let your long distance bestie know how much you appreciate her.

Cover Image Credit: Rachel Perna

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