How To Say Thank You To Your Mom

Mom, You Deserve So Much More Than Just This Article

The question is just where to begin.


You are literally one of the greatest human beings that almost anyone has met. I don't know where to begin, honestly. After I started writing for Odyssey, you kept waiting for the article written for you to run across your Facebook feed. Well, your time has finally come.

Mom, where do I begin? You've always been the one who was there for me. Even when you don't understand why I feel a certain way or why I act the way I do, sometimes you ask me what the heck is going on. You were the mom to my group of friends from high school, and we always were welcome in your basement, even when we stayed up much later than you did and probably made more noise than you hoped we would. Mama Loh was, and still is, the best, and I really do appreciate all the unhealthy snacks that you bought for my friends and me.

You were the one to drive me to all of my choir concerts, band concerts, softball games, cross country meets — everything (until I turned 16 and wanted to "do my own thing"). I know how bad some of the softball games were and I know that some of the choir songs must have hurt your ears, because same, but you were there at every single one of them. I know I told you it didn't matter or I didn't care if you showed up — but I did, and it meant a lot that I always had someone to cheer me on at any event I was at.

You are always there for me. Taking off work to stay home with me while I was sick, teaching me how to drive, going shopping with me, and getting Chick-Fil-A breakfast are just some of the reasons. I was involved in a lot at school, and whenever I or my teachers needed some extra help, you were right there. You are so irrevocably compassionate in everything you do that it is one of the many things that I hope that I can learn from you and continue to do.

You're so selfless. I don't know how many beautiful dinners you gave up or how many water bottles you picked up because of me over the years. Yes, I know I took advantage of that because I knew you would do it, and I do feel bad for that. I could make an excuse and say that I was just a kid, but we all know that this probably happened last week too. However, it is becoming less frequent! The water bottles are just in my car now, so I make myself do it.

Every single thing you do is with passion. You work your butt off at your job even though they don't pay you nearly enough (in my opinion) or give you the recognition you deserve. Every week you put in much more than 40 hours in order to go above and beyond for everything that you do. You never give yourself nearly enough credit for it either. You work more than any other member of this family, and you honestly kick all of our butts in the work ethic field.

I strive for your work ethic because it's about doing your very best because it has your name on it, and not for any other reason. You've taught me to always put my best foot forward, even if I don't really want to do it, and even if it takes more time that I thought it would to do it right.

Mom, I owe you the world. I don't know how to put that into words exactly, but you have made me such a better, more genuine person because of what you do.

When I first came to you about my PTSD you didn't understand any of it — which was 10,000% a-okay. I mean, I didn't really understand it either and it was actually happening to me. But you took the time to step back and ask me questions that I was comfortable with answering. You wanted to understand why I was being affected the way I was being affected and why it manifests in certain ways. You wanted to get to know the ugliest, dark part about me when it would have been very easy to just sit there and close off conversations about it. I know you're my mother and you feel like you have to understand your daughter, but in this case, it is so easy for others to never want to talk about it again and tuck it away into a nice pretty box. You care enough to make sure that I stay up, and when I do get dark, it's never too dark because you are there.

You're so much more than just a mother to me. You're also my biggest role model and my best friend (sorry Anna but I did know her first).

I remember how sad you were because I didn't write about you in my second-grade class about who my biggest role model was. I chose Grandma, and while a very worthy contender — definitely one of my role models — I overlooked you. I still don't know why I didn't choose you, maybe it was because spending the night at Grandma's was a vacation and she does makes better cookies than you. I'm sorry, that's a low blow but I think you can agree with me anyway on that front.

However, you're my mom and Grandma raised you so she must have done something right. You're a constant presence in my life and maybe eight-year-old me took that for granted.

Well, I promise to not do that anymore because you never really do get told enough how utterly freaking amazing you are. This one is for you (finally).

With love always,

Your favorite kid who has written you an article (just remember that AJ always said Grandma was his favorite mom, not me)

Cover Image Credit:

Nicole Lohmueller

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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To My Beautiful Mother, Thank You For Everything

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


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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