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)