When I was 7 or 8 years old, I climbed over the sofa where you were laying down and told you to please pray all my bad dreams away. I was having very unsettling nightmares and I didn't know what to do, so I came to you.

You pulled me close and you prayed for me and told me to stomp on the floor because that's where the devil was and my feet could defeat him when I stomp. As I curled up on your lap on our couch in the basement, I remember feeling so safe in your arms. That feeling of security was something that I so desperately needed, and you provided it for me in only a way that you could.

For many years after that, I wouldn't go to bed without you praying for me. And if you had to go to work, I would call you and you would always answer and pray right in front of all your friends. Just so I could go to sleep.

This a story that I've told many people and that you already know for yourself, but It reminds me how much I love you.

From making me feel safe and warm as a child, to reassuring my school stress in high school, to cheering me on while I get my degrees in college. There is never a time where I am not thankful that you are my mom. A life without your cooking would be a sad one, so I hope I don't have to face that life for a VERY long time. As a child, I only recognized how good your food tasted, but It never occurred to me that you had to take time out of your sleep schedule to make it. So many things you've had to sacrifice in your life in order to make a better life for me. At my age, you were already on your own, away from your parents, and almost on your way to starting a new life in a new country. Something I know I'd never have the strength to do.

I don't think I could ever express to you how thankful I am for all the times you have held me while I was stressed, prayed for me when I had bad dreams as a child and made me my favorite food because, at the end of the day, you knew that would always be the key to my heart.

Thank you for always, always ALWAYS forgiving me, even when I seriously didn't deserve it.

Thank you for letting me talk to you about what's on my heart for hours and let me tell you all my feelings. When you validate my feelings I am reminded how thankful I am to have a mother like you.

You are the reason why I love taking care of others, why I love hosting things, why I love having a house full of people, why I love so strongly that it overwhelms me. You have given me more than you know, and I hope this ode to you reminds you of just how much you mean to me.

When I was 7 or 8 years old, I told you if you died the next day I would just die right there with you because I didn't want to be in this life without my mom. Now, as a 21-year-old, I clearly wouldn't do that. But the feeling of not wanting to live life in this world without you will always remain the same. My favorite person to watch Bollywood movies with (even if I make you watch the same one 55 times), my favorite person to eat out with, my shopping partner, my shoulder to lay on when I am exhausted.

I hope you know that in this life, you will always have me to rely on. I will always be here to be YOUR shoulder to lay on and I will always be your baby — even if that means I move away. I like you forever, I'll love you always, forever my mommy you'll be.