"A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place nobody else can take."

This is going to be hard to put into words without getting a little teary-eyed, even though you say I have a cold heart and never get emotional. The older I get, the more I am starting to realize how important a mother is to her child. Even though I don't live at home anymore, my mom is the first person I call when I need encouragement, when I need to know how to cook something, or I just need to vent. Here's to you, mom.

Dear Mom,

Thank you. Thank you for giving me life. Thank you for letting me make a pallet in your room when the weather got bad. Thank you for telling me that I am not wearing that short dress. Thank you for cooking me dinner when I come home, and breakfast for my birthday. Thank you for making sure I have always had everything I need and then some. Thank you for introducing me to Jesus. Thank you for being the only person who can find mysterious missing objects. Thank you for waking up far past your bedtime to answer a text from me, even if it is just to tell me that I need to go to sleep and don't worry about whatever problem I may be having. Thank you for not being a total helicopter mom so that I could learn how to do things on my own. Thank you for all the "life lessons" and letting me make mistakes and suffer the consequences. Thank you for being MY sunshine during a storm. Thank you for helping to mold me into the person I am today. When I was younger, I wanted to be just like Selena Gomez. Now that I am old enough to appreciate the awesome person that you are, I strive to become more like you. And that is something I am very proud to say.

I'm sorry. I want to apologize for thinking bad thoughts about you when you had to discipline me. I would have never thought that even though all my friends gave you the "Meanest Mom Award," that I would end up being a person that I am glad to be now because of it. I am sorry for all the times that I made bad decisions, ones that made you say, "I did not raise my daughter to act like this." I know that raising a teenage daughter is not the easiest thing to do, but we both survived and didn't actually kill each other. I am sorry for not appreciating you and everything you do much sooner. I say I am sorry, but I know that you forgive me, because that's what Jesus would do.

I admire you so much. I admire you for being the most selfless person I know, and for always putting everyone else before yourself. I admire you because you are so dang funny (and everyone tells me I act just like you). I admire you for putting up with dad's crap. I admire you for being able to be two hours away from me and still be able to make me feel better about any situation. I admire you because you never fail to amaze me. You are the person who is there for everybody and willing to help with anything, even if you know the favor wouldn't be returned if the situation was reversed. I love that about you, and I am starting to see how you have instilled that in me. I admire the lessons that you teach me that nobody else can. No professor could ever teach a student the things that a mother teaches her daughter. Thanks again, mom.

I love you more. I know that I don't say it much, but that is only because you always say that it shouldn't be overused. And I want you to know that I don't need assurance that you love me everyday, because I already know that you do. You have been my biggest fan since forever, and I am so grateful for that. I love your laugh, and even when you dance in the middle of Wal-Mart. I love you for constantly encouraging me to do better, because without your encouragement I would have never achieved as much. I love you because you are my best friend. I know that you always say your mom is not supposed to be your "bestie," but I think there comes a time when your kids are old enough that you can be their friend. I love you even though you listen to 80's music and never ever have a plan for anything. I love you for being you, because without you there wouldn't be me.

I know that not everyone is blessed with a mom as great as mine. God takes some people's moms away from them, and they have to learn to do without their mom. Whether your mom is in heaven or earth, she still holds a piece of your heart. I know some mothers don't even deserve the title of "mommy," but I thank God that he decided to make my mom mine, because she strives to be more like the Lord every day, sets a good example for others, and is a leader and not a follower. I may hate you at times, but I love you all the time.

Sincerely,

Your Baby Girl/Sunshine :)