Mom and Dad,
There is so much I want to say, but no words could ever express how grateful I am for you two. I just want to start by saying thank you. Sitting here, at twenty-years-old, I'm thinking about everything you both have sacrificed for me in that short amount of time, and I realize that nothing I could say or do will ever come close to repaying you. So, thank you. That's all I can say. Thank you for sacrificing your time to spend a day in my preschool classroom with me and have our "shadows" drawn by my teacher that you've kept all these years. I will always have that memory. Thank you for pushing yourselves through long days at work and always making it home in time to take me to my band concerts (even though I'm sure they were awful). Thank you for random days spent in the backyard and countless hours of pushing me on the swing until I learned to do it myself. Thank you for all the amazing Christmases we've had together. Thank you for teaching me how to ride a bike and picking me up off the ground when I fell down. Thank you for kissing all my "boo-boos" and wiping the tears from my eyes when I cried. Thank you for sacrificing nine years of your lives to my softball career and for being the best coaches I could have asked for. Thank you for always taking care of me when I'm sick and making me soup so I'll feel better. Thank you for sacrificing so much so I could go to such amazing schools: St. Michael's, Northville High School, and now Alma College.
Thank you for all those things and so much more. I have so many great memories of growing up in our family, and although it's hard at times, you guys never show it. Your strength, faith, and determination keeps our family afloat. I am so lucky to have you both as my parents, and I am so grateful for everything you do for me. As Oscar Wilde wrote, "To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love," and I know that everything you do for our family is out of the love you both have. You guys have given me more than I could ever imagine and you continue to give to me every day. I may never be able to repay you, but I hope I make you proud, and I hope that my success in life is repayment for all you've sacrificed to get me there.
You guys have always been there for me. No matter what type of day you're having or how stressed you were about work, you always made sure that I was OK. You still do, every day. I know that I have your love and support at any time of the day, rain or shine, come hell or high water, and that's the best feeling in the world. You've given me the space to make my own mistakes but you've always had a lesson to teach me afterwards, and I have become a better person because of that. In only a short twenty years, you guys have shown me the true meaning of family. You have set so many standards for me as parents, and I hope that one day I will be even half of the parent you both are to me.
That all being said, I just want to say thank you again. Thank you for all you have done, are doing, and will do for me. You guys are the best parents a girl could ask for and I wouldn't trade one day of growing up in our family for a day in someone else's shoes. Without you both, I wouldn't be nearly the person I am today.
I love you guys so, so much.
All my love,
Your little girl