A Letter To My Mom, The Strongest Woman I Know

A Letter To My Mom, The Strongest Woman I Know

You make strong look sexy.
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Dear Mom,

You are the strongest woman I know. Yes, you could be described as beautiful (seeing as you are also one of the most beautiful people I know) but that description barely scratches the surface of what you mean to me. Mama, most importantly, you are the strongest woman I know. I have now known you for over 20 years and have been there when you’ve gone through hard times. You have amazing emotional strength. Your admittance to faults only makes you stronger, in my eyes. Thank you for being broken.

Not only have you taught me that being imperfect is strong, but you have also shown me how a woman can be physically strong, yet feminine. You make strong look sexy. The way you strive to do better than you have ever before is admirable and inspirational. You have always pushed me to do the very best my body can do. Thank you for defying our culture’s view of women.

While some may joke about you being a “momma bear” I am grateful for how you care for my siblings and I. Growing up, I always knew that you would be there to back me up if I ran into any problems. You have also always had the discernment to only tell me of bad news when you knew I was ready for it. Thank you for protecting me.

I have never known someone else so willing to be silly in public. It shows so much self-assurance to go out into the world and overlook the thoughts others might have. No lies, in junior high it was a little embarrassing, but now I realize how cool that really was. Thank you for not caring what others think.

As my mother, you have always been supportive of my dreams. You have spent hours upon hours in guilds and meetings, dropping me off and picking me up, buying and creating gear and costumes. I have never met another so lacking self. I cannot imagine how many days of your life have been spent solely devoted to your family. Thank you for being selfless.

Countless times I have seen you studying your Bible - the one that is falling apart at the seams. You are good at encouraging others, yet you are not one to shy away from confrontation. You are a hard worker who invests in whatever she does. Thank you for teaching me what a real woman looks like.

Without you, I wouldn’t be here. Yet that is the most simple statement. Even if I existed without you, I would not be who I am today. You have taught me how to be strong; whether that be emotionally, physically, protectively or selflessly. Every day I see myself growing more and more like you and there is no one else I’d rather emulate. There is no one else on this planet who I am closer to. Thank you for being my best friend.

Love always,

Your daughter

Cover Image Credit: Sierra Murray

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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A Toxic Mother Can Cause Just As Much Damage As An Absent Father

They're real, they're out there.

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What's worse, a toxic mother or an absent father?

I saw this on Twitter and I had to give my input.

An absent father is kind of like a blank space that either you can fill or you have filled. Some mothers choose to make the absentee father the hero, the villain, or anonymous. Fathers play a huge role in their daughters' lives by being their first love and in their sons by being their first role models of how a man treats a woman. Absent fathers tend to be full of blame and excuses towards everyone besides themselves. By creating the narrative that it wasn't by choice but a decision.

Fathers are the anchor in the household providing stability, safety, and security. When it's missing, there is a need to find it. Leading boys to feel like they need to become men before their time and pushing girls to beg for love that was always intended to be free.

Absent fathers have been an epidemic in minority communities for decades. Starting off by force and continuing by choice. But that void can be a bottomless pit to be filled with whatever can close the gap. Though it should be fixed with self-love and personal identity, it tends to be the opposite.

Absent fathers create a hole that society could never fill.

Now, toxic mothers.

They're real, they're out there. I know it's a shock but not every mother is from "The Brady Bunch" or "The Cosby Show." There are mothers who are present in their children's lives and still abdicate the role of being the nurturer, lover, and protector. Though they don't catch nearly as much flack as absent fathers, their effects can be just as detrimental. Being the sole parent in the household, children are completely dependent upon them for shelter, nutrition, self-care, and everything else. They are taking the roles of two in one. So we aren't talking about the single moms who are killing it and making a way but falling short.

No, no.

We're talking about moms who use the children's dependency upon them and abuse the power that their title, mother, entails. Mothers are their sons' first love, and how they treat their sons affects their views on women. Mothers who degrade their daughters with slurs, try to emasculate their sons, they forfeit their roles by being the root of hate instead of love.

Toxic mothers distort an image of love and replace it with fear.

In reality, no one has a perfect family life or an ideal home situation. But through our experiences, we can be better for our children and the generation to come. We don't have to be a slave to our past, but instead, we can master our future.

But this started off with a question: what's worse, a toxic mother or an absent father?

The worst thing would be to have both.

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