Mom, I Hate To Say It But You Were And Will Always Be Right

Mom, I Hate To Say It, But You Were And Will Always Be Right

Even for the girl that was jumping to go to a school 14 hours away, ready to leave, homesickness is real.

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When I left to go to school the thought of homesickness never even crossed my mind. Going to school 14 hours away I thought it would be more of an adventure than a sadness. My sister Kaitlin and I are five years apart in age, we fight constantly and bother each other to no end. Did I think I would miss her? No. I was going off on my own, doing my own thing and I was excited not sad, but you were sitting there in the car crying as you drove away from moving me in.

Me on the other hand, I'm jumping up and down and can't wait to start this new chapter. However, three months later I'm sitting here counting the days until I go home. Final exams are coming, the stress is coming in hot and as a freshman, I wish nothing more than to be home right now with my family and my dog.

I picked the University of Alabama because I loved the idea of being far away from home. I wanted a fresh start and I didn't mind being on my own. Up until I went to orientation I didn't know anyone else that went to UA and I thought that would make it even more of an experience. At orientation I met two of my best friends, then when I moved in for recruitment I made another best friend. Though being sick, getting a sprained ankle, roommate troubles, having to move dorms halfway through the semester I was never once homesick. Fall break rolled around and I enjoyed my time at home but was ready to come back to school. It wasn't until about a week and a half ago that the homesickness kicked in 100%.

Mom,

I call you every day along with my sister, my dad, and my grandparents. I figured that by calling and talking I wouldn't miss much because it would be like I was right there with you. I FaceTime you while I straighten my hair and do my make up just to talk to you. I call Kaitlin and talk about all my problems because even when I already know the solution I miss being able to ask her for advice. As soon as something big happens down here you're the first one I text or call cause it feels weird not to come home and tell you about my day every night.

When I call dad and he is in the middle of a work meeting, he thinks something so he picks up the phone when in reality I'm just bored walking to class. You and dad came and visited last week for Thanksgiving, but it made me miss home even more because all my friends were home, I didn't get to see Kaitlin and I REALLY miss my sweet fur baby Bella.

Don't worry, I am having the time of my life down here. Yes, I miss home, but I know I'll miss t-town as soon as I leave. I made so many friends down here. I have a support system that I know I can always rely on. The sorority feeds me so I'm not starving, but that doesn't mean I won't take some of dad's homemade pasta sauce in containers back to school when I come home.

It took me three months to realize that just because it's a fun adventure doesn't mean I won't miss what was normal to me. So listen closely because I'm only going to say it once and it's going to be the only time you hear me say it. Mom, you were right. In college, we do get homesick. I am counting down the days until I get to come home for three weeks. Home to my bed, home to my dog, home to talking about our days at the dinner table, home to dads cooking, home to my childish fights with Kaitlin and home to you. I'll see you soon.

Love,

Your daughter Rachel

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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To My Beautiful Mother, Thank You For Everything

Here's the best "Thank You" I can put into words.

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Today was not my day.

We were in the middle of a CVS and I started crying because I saw this Mike Wazowksi stuffed animal, and it reminded me of how fast I'm growing up. It was really, really stupid. You gave me your sunglasses to cover my blotchy eyes and told me to pretend we were at the pharmacy because I had an eye infection. I was sniffling and wearing these ridiculously oversized sunglasses (because sometimes you dress like an honest-to-god celebrity), and all the pharmacists and the people in line looked at us like we were insane. You didn't care. We drove around for a bit in your brand new car and you told me that there are just days like this and that I was going to be okay.

Later tonight, I went out for some fresh air. You picked me up in your pajama pants. I could tell that you were really tired. From the kitchen now, I can see the edge of your socks on our Michigan blanket. You were watching your lawyer show and you fell asleep on the couch again. Thanks for picking me up.

Dad says that when we were still living in that two-flat on Carmen, you liked to play Van Morrison and dance around in circles with me. "Into The Mystic" was our favorite one. To this day, I still love when I hear Van sing, "We were born before the wind." and when I'm away at school and they play"Brown-Eyed Girl" at the bar, I always think of our old house.

It used to be just me, you, dad, and a black lab. I was your first kid, and you and dad were barely 30 when I was born. You are both tan and happy in our first family photos. I like to think that the two of you were pretty excited to have me. I remember when dad painted The Cow Jumped Over The Moon on the far wall of my bedroom. There would be this big, bright-yellow saucer moon, and a smiling spoon holding hands with a dish waiting for me when I came home. I know that you wanted me to be a happy kid from the very first day. You dressed me like a chubby little corn on the cob for my first Halloween.

You watched "Monsters Inc." with me on the couch almost every night, and I know you got tired of it. You walked me around the neighborhood with stroller shaped like a little red car and we were the coolest chicks on the block. I lost my favorite stuffed animal, this spotted little dog, and we searched together for hours. You even helped me make "MISSING" posters and post them around the neighborhood, in case I left him at the park or playing outside. You brushed out my curls every morning before school even when I screamed and cried and fought you. You drove me to violin practice on Tuesday nights and let me play my Taylor Swift CD's on the way there, as long as you could listen to your music on the way back. One year you even took me to see her in concert at the Allstate Arena. You bought me a Taylor Swift poster, and we watched her music videos together on the home computer. You worked hard so I could have a good childhood.

You opened your own law practice and saved up money so I could go to this fancy, private school in the West Loop. The people there were different than me. They dressed differently and talked in a different way than I'd grown up with. To be crass, the majority of them had lots of money- and they acted like it. So, what did you do? You busted your ass off, and in addition to paying what was essentially college tuition, you took me shopping at Vineyard Vines so I could fit in with the kids at school. That was almost too nice of you. Like, maybe you should have just told me to shut up, wear the clothes I had already, and deal with it. You're too giving for that.

During the winter when the days were hard and everything just felt crappy, I took the Taylor Street bus to your office after school. You always gave me money to go get Chipotle across the street. You cleared out the conference room so I could either nap or do homework. We drove home together from downtown and the traffic was always unbearable, but we talked about what was going on in our lives as we inched down the highway. On the days like those, I felt like you were my best and truest friend in the world.

You taught me to be down-to-earth, and that a glass of wine a day is good for the health.

You didn't bat an eye when I told you I wanted to major in journalism. You stayed up late with me one night when I was a little bit... "sick", and ran a marathon the next day. I watched you run a political campaign and win fair-and-square. You refused to play into the games of politics, and I watched you become a Cook County Judge because of how fair and genuine you are. You taught me that dark hair and red lipstick will never go out of style. You taught me that a clean house is essential for peace of mind. You told me to never go to bed mad at someone I love.

So mother, as I reflect on the day we went through together today, I want you to know that the way you care for me will never go unnoticed. You are a kickass, professional woman, but also a pretty fun lady to be around. Thanks for your wisdom.

Thanks for everything.

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