To The Moms We Never See Enough Of, Now That We're In College

To The Moms We Never See Enough Of, Now That We're In College

If I were to dream of being rich, it’d be so we could visit more often.

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Mom, I love you. I don't say it enough to you. I know it was hard letting me go, especially since I moved 2,000 miles away. But I want you to know, I appreciate all the love and support you've given me over the years. Both when I lived under the same roof as yours, and now that I'm on the other side of the country. You've always been my rock, the person I can count on when I need it the most.

I'm writing this letter because I don't see you very often and I wish I could. Moving away, being a broke college girl, from a family with not a lot is hard. It means I can't fly home whenever I want and you can't fly here whenever you want. It means we're left with a few days before we have to return to work instead of a month-long vacation of catching up and enjoying each others company. It means every time I get to see you, I learn to appreciate the time spent together even more. If I were to dream of being rich, it'd be so we could visit more often.

I'm sorry I didn't call a lot the first semester. It's one of my biggest regrets. Coming home for the first time in six months that first year was eye-opening. I didn't realize how much I had missed you or how hard it would be every time we had to say goodbye. I appreciate you staying strong with me over the last year and I know we'll survive the next three.

To the Mom I don't see often enough, I love you with all my heart! And I hope you know I count down the days until we can see each other again. Saying goodbye is really hard, and saying hello never comes soon enough. I promise I'll call more often, try to fly home more than twice a year, but most of all I promise to never let you forget how much I love and appreciate all you do for me.

The reason I'm here, on my own, surviving is because of you. You taught me to go after my dreams even when the journey is difficult. You taught me to provide for myself, budget, and the gift that is coupons and sales. You're the reason I'm the strong young woman I am. If it weren't for you I wouldn't have been able to achieve the accomplishments I have and to continue to pursue new ones. Your kindness inspires me and I aim to follow in your footsteps.

I don't like to say goodbye, only see you later. I love you, mom! And I can't wait to come home this winter. This may be my full-time residence for the time being but it'll never fully be home as long as you're not here.

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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Poetry On Odyssey: My Shadow

*Trigger Warning*

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*Trigger Warning*


My shadow

Casting itself upon the brightness of others

At least

It comes back


I found it difficult to remember a moment

Where I was held by someone

Held with the idea of love in mind

Held.


Sleeping in the same Cinderella nightgown every night

Dreaming one day I would get away from my evil

Only I am the evil.


I dreamed of arms wrapped around me

Moments later I was raped

So I stopped asking for hugs

For fear it'd be another "game" he'd play

Another room I'd be locked in

Another nightmare.

I stopped dreaming

I stopped thinking

I stopped


I


I am still the little girl begging my "parents" to help me

I am still the little girl begging God to take my life

Needing a hug

Crying from moments of bruising

Leaving more lesions than love

I am still


Still in the solemn presence of my own self

Hearing nothing but the echo of my own heart beating

The sound of my breath leaving my otherwise lifeless lungs


It hurts


The movement of my eyes

Fluttering, blinking

Searching for a visual other than my own reflection

I am tired of seeing "that"

When I look at "it"

All I see is her hands striking my face

His secret parts, kept from the world

Not kept from his sister

I see pain


Pain


The feeling of the blade

The one moment where the word "feeling" makes most sense

Where I think I've felt it for the first time

The first time I held it

Close to me

I was at peace.


Peace for myself, not for others

Questions

I don't answer

I nod

And leave.


I've gotten pretty good at that

Leaving

It's the only thing I learned from my father

To be physically present but otherwise absent

To be numb

I've made a habit of leaving.


People always ask me why I complain about loneliness

When I am the cause

I tell them I am not at home in my skin

I have no place to invite them.


Them


The ones I thought would answer a text

A call

Declined.


My sister

The younger version of myself

The girl I used to be

Part of who I still am.


My sister

My whole heart

Heartbroken.


I tell myself and others I am over losing her

I am not

I keep her picture next to my bed

Under a sheet

Next to my hand while I sleep

For the comfort that maybe someday she will know

Just how much I've loved her

How much I still love her.


But just as I go to sleep every night

I am reminded...


My mother

One part abused, one part abuser

A contradiction

Caring? Never

Hopeless.

I ignore her.


My sister

A part of my mother

Myself

A part of nothing.


Nothing


A black wall of nothingness

Hopeless in all ways

Dark.


My hands have touched many suicide "notes"

Many letters to others

Many papers.

But I do not end it

Because in a way

It ended awhile ago.


I am a skeleton

A lifeless body without will to live

The will they stole

They stole my life.


They

My abusers

Doubling as family


Depression.


I walk to class every morning

With nothing by my side but my shadow

Because no one really loves me


Hell, I don't even love me.


My shadow keeps me company

Watches my every move

Stays by my side

Sure, my shadow may leave when I enter darkness


But at least it comes back

The next day.

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