Dear Mom,

Thank you.

I know I haven't always shown my appreciation for all that you do for me and for our family, but I am forever grateful. Although it took me 19 years and moving 5 hours away to college, I now see that you really are super woman. 6 years ago you had to take on the role of both mom and dad when we lost dad to cancer. I can't imagine how terrifying it was to take on both roles and learn how to be a single parent. While I'm sure most days you'd love to not do this on your own, please know that you are doing one hell of a job. Never once did you give up on yourself or your family. I so deeply admire your strength and strive to be as strong as you one day. You showed us that it was okay to be weak and okay to let go; you showed me that sometimes you have to be weak before you can be strong. You showed me that weakness isn't giving up. And you showed me how to be strong.

Dad would be SO proud of you.

Thank you.

I'll admit that I haven't always been the easiest. (And that may or may not be a very large understatement.) I've pushed every one of your buttons and pulled all your strings. I've made your life difficult when it least needed to be. I've said hurtful things and broken your trust more times that I'd like to admit, but never once did you give up on me. Never once did you stop trying to build the relationship that both you and I want with each other. From those nights in the hospital, to the hotel room in Maine when I was so fragile and sad, to the nights I lay in bed crying over some stupid boy, you have never left my side. Every single time I fell apart, you put me back together. Thank you for all the time, money and energy you have spent on me, especially when it meant not being able to put yourself first.

Thank you.

You have always been my biggest supporter, despite all the mistakes I've made. You have pushed me to do what I love and I have you to thank for where I am today. You've also been my biggest teacher, despite when I was unwilling to learn. You have raised me to be proud of who I am and what I have accomplished. I am so thankful for all the values you have shared with me and raised me with. You have pushed me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to struggle, because you knew it would only make me stronger. You amaze me each and every day. From starting your own business and pursuing what you love, to writing a book that I know will touch so many hearts, you are a truly amazing person.

Thank you.

If I'm half the mother you are one day I will consider myself blessed. You are first my mother and forever my friend. I love you more than anything and I am so thankful for you.