Open Letter To My Mom

To My Mom, Who Has Sacrificed Her Wants And Needs To Care For Those Around Her

You mean the world to me and I want you to know that.

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I just want to start out about saying this: Mom, you are the strongest person I know.

When I was younger, and you had to put going to college on pause, so you could take care of me; I didn't realize what a big deal that was until I was old enough to understand it. Now, not only do you have several associates degrees, a bachelor's degree, but you are now working your way through a master's degree! You are so driven and you never let anything hold you back from your dreams.

Even when you are going through financial and emotional troubles, you always make sure you are available to anyone who could ask for your help. Even though I am approximately 7 hours (440 miles) away, I am always the one you call to talk to about your day. I can always count on you to help me when I am in need, even when me being in need is just me asking how long to bake chicken or how to make spaghetti.

You have made me into the person I am now: a strong, independent woman who tries her best at everything she does. You have given me my intelligence and my OCD, and my ability to get stressed out way too easily! In short, you have been the best mom you can be, especially to me, but also to my brother and sister.

Growing up, you have always made sure that we had a roof over our heads, something in the kitchen to eat, and someone there who would love and support us unconditionally. Of course, you have your imperfections, but that is what makes you a great mom. You make mistakes and you own up to them. You let us make mistakes, so we can grow as people.

When I was in high school, you were there for me when I got my heart broken by boys you already warned me about. You supported me when I got my first bad grade in a class because the teacher assumed I was cheating on tests. You supported me through all of my college decisions, and even though I know you wanted me to stay somewhere close to you, you also wanted me to pursue my dreams, so you supported my decision to go out-of-state.

Now that I am in college, you still continue to support me. First, it was helping me pay for my tuition. Then, it was when I was going through a rough time with classes and had to make the hard decision of changing my major. Whatever I was going through, you were always there to talk to me and walk me through everything.

When I got my first apartment, you even helped pay my deposit because I obviously had no idea how expensive it would be. I am so grateful you have allowed me to grow into the person I am becoming. I am so appreciative that you have shown me how to have a great work ethic and let me know that it is okay to struggle financially.

I want you to know that you deserve the world; you deserve way more than I could ever give to you! That is how appreciative I am of you. You have made such an impact on me and have helped shaped who I am. Your arms are always open no matter how badly I mess up and that means the world to me.

I was so excited to be able to discuss tattoo ideas with you a few weeks ago and as I write this, my idea to dedicate my first tattoo to you is only more solidified. You mean everything to me and I want the world to know what an amazing, kind, and supportive mom you are.

I love you, mom.

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A Thank You Letter To My Parents On Graduation Day

The two people who made sure I survived the last four years
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To my parents on my graduation day -- Thank You!

When I started this final semester I had so much on my plate, graduate school applications, graduation plans, work, and classes. I struggled and scrambled and worried and through it all you both were behind me, pushing and supporting me. You all have done so much for me, not just in the last four years but, for my entire life. Neither of you had much when you started life together, as you've told me many times you ate hamburger helper without the hamburger. You spent money on formula for me instead of food for you all. I don't remember much about that time in my life but, I do remember the hard work, effort, strength, love, and drive I saw in the two of you.

Dad,

You went through deployments, field training, retirement, and school; all while still making mom smile, helping me with my homework and continuously checking in on Grandma and Grumpa. You were deployed for some big stuff, you missed out on softball games, band competitions, and my first prom.

I know how much you wanted to be there and I always knew you were there with me when I was reaching these milestones. When you retired you came to every marching band performance, helped me move into my dorm, and came to school to see me just because.

In the last few months, as my undergraduate career comes to an end, I have been faced with some important decisions and issues that I have struggled to accept. You listened to me complain, gave me encouragement and advice, and most importantly loved me every step of the way. You helped me understand that God has a plan for me and in due time it would play out and I would end up somewhere I never imagined all for the better. You told me over and over again how you won't even begin to say that you understand what I'm going through but, what mattered most was you always supported me.

Thank you for giving me that constant support, encouragement, advice, wisdom and most importantly love. You may have missed some big moments in my life but, on this day, you are here calling my name from the stands and that makes up for all the competitions and proms you ever missed. Thank you for always loving me Daddy, I love you.

Mom,

I could write a million pages full of thank you's to you but, I'll try to condense it down to a paragraph or two. My whole life my list of friends has changed; it's shrunk, it's grown, it's morphed more times than a chameleon. Though one thing has never changed; you have always been at the top of that list. You are my best friend, my confidante, but first my momma. You have been there for me through everything that has ever happened in my life.

In the last four years, you have become the one person that I can't go even a day without talking to. I call you every day sometimes twice a day, we text, we Snapchat, every chance I get to talk to you I take. Even if I don't have much to talk about it's just nice to hear your voice. When I started college I came home every week and saw you all the time, when I moved into my first apartment and over the last three years I know I haven't come home as often but, every time I see you I never want to leave. I know that there are Daddy's girls but I, am a Momma's girl. When I was sick, scared, or freaking out because of some ridiculous drama in my life you were always there to talk me down and bring me back to reality.

In the last year, I have faced some extremely tough moments. Whether they were personal moments or educational moments. Every time that I had someone piss me off, upset me, talk down to me, or disappoint me I came to you and you were never annoyed with my questions or constant complaining.

You have pushed me, yelled at me, supported me, and loved me every day since I was born but, I feel like even more since I started college. I'm not totally sure where I am going in the next year or what path I am going to walk down and even though I feel like I've disappointed you because of this, you've told me how proud you are of me and how you thank God every day for having a daughter like me.

Every time you said that to me, it helped push me to do better, try harder, and not be so hard on myself. You are my biggest inspiration momma and what you have done in the last few years with your education has given me the role model I needed. I hope one day I can be as successful as you have been and be as amazing of a person as you are. I love you more Momma.

You have both told me how proud you are of me but, as I walk across the stage I want you all to know how much I love you and how thankful I am that God gave me parents like you two. You never let me feel down about myself, you would let me fall, pick me back up, love on me, dust me off and send me back out into the world. You protected me from the bad, taught me about the good, and have given me every opportunity to succeed in life.

I know that you all are proud of me but, I hope one day I will feel as proud of myself as you do of me. Thank you both for the amazing life you've given me but, more importantly, thank you for everything you've done for me in the last four years. So, as I walk across the stage give each other a high five because you got me here and no one else can say that.

"You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important." - Aibileen Clark

Cover Image Credit: Emma Tutor

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A Letter To The Moms In My Life

The urban dictionary provides plenty of definitions for what a mother is.

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The urban dictionary provides plenty of definitions for what a mother is like: "the best person on earth because she raised you to be who you are and probably loves you no matter what" or "the most amazing, strong, loving, and heroic woman you will ever know."

To my mother, I want to thank you for raising me to be independent, self-sufficient and driven.

Because of you, I am so much stronger than I ever imagined.

To my boyfriend's mother, I want to thank you for being the mother to the man I love.

Because of you, I have a kind, generous man to take care of me and cherish me. I have a second motherly figure in addition to my own to rely on.

To my grandma, I want to thank you for being a rock for me, and our whole family.

Because of you, our family is seemingly capable of anything. You are so loving and supportive and it has a lasting effect on everyone you meet.

I never knew how blessed I was to have the women in my life until I moved away to college and now that I know, I can't repay them enough. There's no way I would be who I am today without the influence of the incredible women in my life.

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