An Open Letter To The Mother Who Raised Me On Her Own

An Open Letter To The Mother Who Raised Me On Her Own

Thank you for giving me a life I am thankful for every single day.

You had to become an adult while you were still a kid, and you had to take on far too many responsibilities. You were forced to do something that is difficult for most to do; be selfless and not selfish. You set aside your dreams in order to make mine come true, and always put me first no matter what. Having a child so young is a strenuous task, and you had to do it without a significant other. You have acquired strength that is incomprehensible, and inspires me each and every day. The beauty you possess is shown not only through your looks, but within your heart. The light in your eyes and your laugh lights up every room you walk into, and is contagious. I sometimes ponder over how much you’ve gone through, and am in awe that somehow you are still able to smile through all of the pain. But then I realize that nothing will ever have the power to break you down. From your guidance, I learned that times will get tough, but sometimes you just have to breathe, put one foot in front of the other and always keep moving forward. So with that being said:

Thank you.

Thank you for your unconditional love and support.

Thank you for showing me that grace, and a good heart is what makes someone special.

Thank you for being hard on me even when you didn’t want to, because in the end it will only help me survive in this great, big world.

Thank you for comforting me while I cried so hard I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and reminding me that you will always be there for me.

Thank you for putting my happiness above yours, and always making sure that I am OK.

Thank you for never forcing me to do anything I didn’t want to do, and for letting me create my own path in life to follow.

But, most of all, thank you for making sacrifices in order to give me such a full, and wonderful life.


A daughter who would be lucky to be half the mother that you are

Cover Image Credit: Courtney Gutkowski

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

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Having a Plan

It's OK if things don't work out as planned.


Growing up is a lot of work. As we age, there comes a certain pressure to know exactly what you intend to do with your life. This is something that society and often times the people we love most demand of us. Our culture is so busy there is no time to waste. "You need to be driven, have a goal," is the scream of the world. This ideology has shaped every ounce of who we are. We panic when we don't know. We're supposed to have an answer.

We plan and we plan and we plan, and we make ourselves miserable in the process. We become so caught up in the logistics that we look all around us: left, right, forwards, and backward. We search all over to no prevail, and we forget to look up.

Proverbs 16:9 (HCSB):

A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.

This is something I've been learning in my time at college. And I'm a planner. I like a good plan. When things don't go according to plan, I tend to resort to panic.

All this to say, plans aren't a bad thing, but it's important to recognize it's OK if our plan doesn't work out exactly.

It's also OK not to know it all right now. There are things in life that will come to pass before we know it. So don't rush.

God's timing is more than perfect. Even when we don't understand.

God's plan is never messed up, so we should take comfort in that.

Rest in this truth today. Surrender your plans to the Lord, and take a breath.

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