Dear Mom,

Although we butt heads sometimes, It's only because you and I have more in common than we both know. Here are some things I've inherited from you, or things that I want to model my life after and that I'd like to celebrate on this Mother's day; Because not only does your mother raise you, she helps mold you.

1. Your resilience.

That's something that people tell me that I have all the time, and it's something that I know I have, because I was raised by you. No matter how bad a situation is, you've always taught me to look at the brighter side and fight on.

2. Your resourcefulness.

When someone sees a tattered shirt, you see a dish rag, or a seed drier for the garden that you love so much. I've learned from you that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and with enough creativity and knowledge, almost anything can become a resource.

3. Your passion.

When you want to get something done, or even when you speak about something you're interested in, you have an electricity in your voice that is forever etched in my head. You're the fastest walker I have ever seen when you want to get something done. I hope to be passionate about things to a point of not caring what others thought, because that is such a rare talent.

5. Your feminism.

Because we were in a family of four girls, you've always taught us that girls are just as valuable, strong and capable as boys. Your respect for strong women is inspiring. Because of you, I've felt empowered and capable as a human being, which will help me so much when I'm out in the real world.

6. Your compassion.

You taught me that it's OK to have a big heart, even if it's guilty for things that it didn't do. You naturally want to help and make things better, while completely disregarding your own benefit. You've given me and many others the purest love I've ever seen or felt. I hope this love instills itself in me the way it does in you.

7. Your fire.

This is one of the reasons that we sometimes butt heads. You have a fire whenever you strongly believe in something, and you will defend that point without ever backing down. This is mirrored in me, and why our arguments can last for long periods of time.

8. Your patience.

This is something that is still developing in me, but something that you have an abundance of. You do things at your own pace, and you respect the pace of others. You display patience in all you do, emphasizing quality over quantity and that rolls over to your life philosophy: "Decency."

9. Your hunger.

This hunger was given to me in two ways. Your hunger for knowledge, wanting to learn everything and see everything and experience everything, to have the fullest life possible. And secondly, your literal hunger. The only thing I will splurge on is good food. At a clothing store, I go directly to the discount rack, as well as at most any other store. However, when it comes to hunger of good food, that's something that resonates with me, and always will. I ate all of the food you ever made. You could always count on me eating adobo with you at 2 a.m. on Friday night, with a fresh avocado.

10. Your color.

This was given in two ways, as well. You always lit up a room with your sense of humor and charm, which I find extremely admirable. You know how to control or present yourself, no matter the situation. Your confidence makes me envious, and although I found it embarrassing when I was younger, it's not until now when I realize how valuable confidence and willingness to speak is. Secondly, you've given me your dark hair, your brown eyes and your apricot glow. People always tell me they're jealous once summer comes around. I look down at my legs and arms and I see your color on me, that honey-glazed barbeque chicken color that's uniquely you, the one that I hugged as a little kid, the one that survives by the sunshine.

Dear Mother, I know that whenever you and I argue, you tell me that I'm "just like my father." However, I do believe that a ton of me has come from you, and I couldn't be prouder. I know that it's taken me a long time to realize your beauty, and I believe that it's an epiphany that almost every child has at some point in their life. I hope that you can forgive me for all the disrespect I've served up over the years, and I hope that you can remember all the times that I've cried on your shoulder, asked you what to do or laughed with you. I apologize taking you for granted in multiple ways, and I'd like to wish an amazing, sacrificial, bright woman a happy Mother's Day.

Love,

"Machi" the spaghetti eater, aka your second eldest daughter,

Maxine Audrey Block