An Open Letter To The Mom I Took For Granted

An Open Letter To The Mom I Took For Granted

You were, and still are, the most important and best part of my life and I am sorry for everything I put you through.
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Moving away to college has made me come to many realizations. The most recent one is how much I miss my mom and how much I took for granted when it came to her. So, Mom here is a letter that I know won't make up for all the times I underappreciated you while I was home, but I hope it will make you feel good and know that I love you and I am missing you terribly.

Dear Mom (or Sher Bear if you like),

You have been a constant rock in my life. You have been everything a mother should be and more. I cannot even begin to tell you everything you have done for me because that would take years.

Now that I have not seen you in nearly three months, I have realized all the things I took for granted and all the things I miss. Not just things I miss about home and being with family, but things you did for me and the feeling your presence brought to me.

I remember just when I started to take you for granted and think I could do everything on my own. It was that time in my life when everyone said it would happen. From 8th grade and all through high school I thought I had it figured out.

I was moody, I was determined to be independent, I thought I knew everything about life and what to expect. I tested you and pushed your buttons. I treated you horribly more days than not. I gave you attitude about every little thing, and when all you wanted to do was talk, I would have my headphones in trying to block out the world.

Looking back, I am disgusted with how I treated you. It seemed that every little thing you did annoyed me and I was constantly snapping at you. I never asked your advice on things. And, I know we joke about this one, but I wouldn't even hug you properly.

I feel so bad for everything I have ever done to make you feel unhappy.

Despite all the things I put you threw, you loved me just like a mother should love their child: unconditionally. You forgave me instantly and still loved me despite my attitudes and moods and snappy comments at you.

Now that I am three states and miles and miles away from you and everything else familiar to me, I am able to realize just how horrible I was to you. I am wishing you were here with me and I always had you by my side.

I wish I could come home to you and have you ask me how my day was. This time I wouldn't get annoyed at you for asking, I would tell you anything you wanted to know. You listen and you actually care and some days that is all I need.

I wish I could go to you after a hard or stressful day (which is multiple times a week) and give you a proper hug and let you comfort me and give me advice. I miss having the ability to do that even though I took that for granted before.

Your random texts with a picture and a quote about how much you love me mean so much to me. I know you tell me you try not to text or call a lot, but don't hold back! I love it when I get a text or a call from you and I could talk for hours now. I miss you so much.

I wish I could go on a spontaneous errand to the grocery store, or sneak out and go shopping without telling Dad, or stop somewhere to eat (also without telling Dad) with you.

I took for granted everything you provided me as a mom. You were someone that was always and will always be there for me. When everyone else in my life leaves or doesn't care, I know I will have you to lean on.

You are an amazing woman.

You could have the worst day of your life and you would still come home with a smile, try to make a good dinner for all of us, and ask everyone how their day was. You would put your family above yourself.

You have taught me so much about life: staying true to who you are, being kind to others, always having a strong relationship with God. Your life lessons have definitely prepared me for some crazy situations here at college.

So, Mom, thank you for being you. Thank you for being so amazing and caring. Thank you for being so selfless. Thank you for loving me (and my brothers) so much and making sure we have the best life.

I am sorry for all those years of bickering and snappy comments and the attitudes. I can't promise that it won't ever happen again, but please know that I do love you so much. As cliche as it sounds, I really didn't know what I had until it was gone.

You are one of the biggest role models in my life Momma. You are so inspiring and beautiful and wonderful. I am so glad God gave me you as a mother. I wouldn't know what to do without you.

I love you so much, Mom.

Love,

Caitlin

P.S. I can't wait to see you for your birthday so we can shop some more without telling Dad.


Cover Image Credit: Caitlin Johnston

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To My Little Brother

Six things I want you to know.
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I am not your mother, but I am your big sister.

I cannot even apologize for it, I am always going to act like your second mom. I am going to keep yelling at you to (please) put down the toilet seat and to clean up the mess you made in the kitchen. It doesn't matter to me how often you say "I am not your mother," because you're my little brother and I'm always going to be the boss.

I never mean it when I tell you to grow up.

I hope that you have taken, and continue to take, full advantage of your childhood. As often as I complain about your maturity level, my wish for you is to put off growing up for as long as possible. The closer I get to real adult life, the more I miss home and all of the worries I didn't have. You shouldn't rush through the years you have left at home, you are doing just fine the way you are.

No, I didn't tell Mom.

All of our secrets will always stay secrets. I may have ratted you out to Mom about being the one to break her new vase, but I hope you know that our brother-sister bond protects all of the private things we share. Please, never forget that I'll always be here to listen to you.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for giving you your first bloody nose, and for laughing at you afterward. I'm sorry for every time I have blown you off for plans with a guy, or to get an extra hour of sleep. I'm sorry for yelling at you to leave me alone and for slamming the door in your face. I'm sorry for all of the times you asked me to play outside that I didn't. I'm sorry for all of my broken promises.

I forgive you.

I forgive you for all of the “little brother" insults you have used. I forgive you for using all of my paints and letting them dry out. I forgive you for embarrassing me in front of every guy I ever brought home. I even forgive you for cutting off that piece of my hair in fourth grade.

I am so proud of you.

It isn't said nearly enough, but I am so proud of you, little brother. I am envious of the passions that you have and the way that you pursue them with no fear! I am excited to see where you go in life (but don't go anywhere too quickly). Keep working hard and doing what you love, no one can fault you for following your heart. I love you so much, and I will always be your biggest supporter and fan!

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To The Nana Who Is Everything, And So Much More

I love you always.

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There's a million different things to call yours.

Grandma, Grammy, Meme, the list can go on.

I call mine my Nana. This is a thank you to the woman who not only impacted my life but raised an amazing woman who raised me.

My mom's mom is the greatest woman in this world, and you can't change my mind otherwise. My Nana has been through hell and back and is one of the most independent people I know. She's got fourteen grandkids and shows the same amount of love and affection to each and every one of us. She would give anything to see her children and grandchildren happy.

She doesn't make the most money, but she makes sure to give each of her grandchildren a set of pajamas for Christmas Eve. She'll buy you little trinkets that remind her of you. She makes sure that each of her grandkids has pencils for back to school, and a big warm coat for college. She never asks for money when she needs it. She's selfless and loving. I admire her for that.

She is the funniest woman in the entire world. She knows how to draw a crowd, and can make your sides hurt from laughing.

She'll learn current trends and practice at her kitchen table so when you visit her next, you can laugh at how "hip and trendy she is". She'll tell you stories for hours. She'll show you amazing music and sing with you in the car. She'll show you her favorite shows and sit with you on her pristinely cleaned couch and shout out the answers to Jeopardy with you. She'll do anything to see you smile.

She doesn't get as much recognition as she deserves. She is the most loving and caring woman and has impacted my life so much. I have shared so many laughs and sweet memories with her, and I am forever grateful for the role she has played in my life. I know she'll be reading this because she supports me in everything in life I pursue.

Nana, thank you for being my rock. My shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with, and jam out to Creedence Clearwater Revival with. You mean so much to everyone's life you have been in contact with. You are my sunshine, a true queen, and as you would say, "love ya always!"

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