Mother's Day was this previous Sunday, May 12th, and this is my first publication as an Odyssey member. As part of my Mother's Day gift, though it is a little late, I wanted my first article to be dedicated to the woman who has devoted her whole life to me since day one.

This one is for you, mother. I'll try to keep it short and sweet.

I can't imagine what a rollercoaster my existence has been for you. I have been through every typical phase in the book. The young and sweet phase, the one full of rebellion and teenage angst, the "I'm too cool to associate with my family" phase, all the way to the current chapter of my life: eighteen and utterly confused. I know I have the capability to throw everyone for a loop and you have definitely gotten the best and worst of it all, each moment as dramatic as the next.

From being too little to understand no means no which then led to me dropping an ostrich egg at a petting zoo, all the way to me, still not quite understanding the 'no' concept and downloading Snapchat behind your back to talk to my 7th-grade boyfriend, you are a real trooper. I admire your strength & unconditional love, not just towards me, but towards everyone that enters your life. You are the epitome of kindness and truth. You are the beautiful, strong, independent woman I will always aspire to be even though I will never be anything close.

At one point I would have said I couldn't wait for the day I got to leave home and be out on my own. Now, I can barely imagine being 20 minutes down the road, let alone 8 hours away. What will I do without having you to annoy when I'm avoiding tasks I need to get done or to gossip with when it's too risky to tell anyone else? You are my day one, my best friend, & my biggest supporter. You are my mom, and I could not have been blessed with a greater one.

To the woman who just wanted to share Panda Express and Dairy Queen on Mother's Day, thank you for everything you do. You are so special. You have had and will have my entire heart from my first breath to my last.

I love you.