An Open Letter To Mom

An Open Letter To Mom

I've started to appreciate the little things so much more.

Mama,

I think you know that the hardest part of college for me is being away from home, but I haven't told you how much I've started to appreciate the little things. I've never said thank you.

Thank you for always pushing me in school as a kid. My homework was never optional, but you always made sure that I knew it was my responsibility. You always helped when I needed you to, but you always trusted me to tell you the truth about everything. You always taught me to be responsible for myself, and that has made me the way I am today.

Thank you for showing me how to be compassionate. I didn't always understand that there were people who were different than me growing up, but you taught me to show love to everyone. When another person needed help, you taught me to help them. You always teach love, acceptance, and understanding.

Thank you for always encouraging me throughout high school and never making me do anything you knew I didn't want to do. Anytime I say I want to try something new, you are my biggest supporter and if I love it, you are my #1 fan. Even if it turns out to not be for me, you're still proud of me and you always make sure I know that.

Thank you for always being there for me. Even now, you always make sure that I know I can come home anytime I want to. You go out of your way to make trips to see me and take me out to lunch. You always answer the phone when I call and you care about every single day-to-day problem I ever have. You make sure you're with me for every big event in my life and you have no idea how much I appreciate it.

Thank you for being the perfect role model for me, now and when I was growing up. You consistently teach me life lessons every single day and make me the best version of myself. You have always shown me how to be humble and intelligent and how to carry myself with grace. You have always been an excellent example of how a woman should be.

Words cannot describe how much you mean to me, and how thankful I am that you're my mom.

I love you always,


Ashleigh

Cover Image Credit: Wendell Hardwick

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Mom, You Are My Happy Place

Here is everything I've ever wanted to say to my cat-obsessed, coffee-loving, one-of-a-kind, beautiful Mom.

I've read articles written about moms from their daughters over the past few years and I've never related to them —at least not by much. As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that this was happening because the relationship between my Mom and me is unique — different from any other I've ever seen or heard of.

Here is everything I've ever wanted to say to my cat-obsessed, coffee-loving, one-of-a-kind, beautiful Mom.

Dear Mom,

Thank you for being the strongest woman I've ever known. You've withstood more hurt in your life than I would ever wish upon my worst. These last two years have been so difficult, exhausting, and grueling —yet here you are, being the most beautiful version of yourself.

And I am so proud of you. I will fight to the end to show this world who you are — the wonderful, sassy, courageous woman you are. The kind of woman and mom I hope to God I can be even half of one day.

Thank you for being my biggest supporter. I've never seen a more avid soccer mom — seriously. The love you have for the sport alone is enough to show. But trying your best to be there for every match, and being heartbroken when you couldn't, means more to me than you know. Knowing my biggest fan was right there supporting me was all I needed.

And being there when I chose a brand new sport, regardless of the cost, warms my heart. Choosing to swim was one of the best choices I've made thus far in life, and I wouldn't have done it without your help. You sat through the long meets, knowing little to nothing about the sport itself, just proud of that little girl in the pool.

Thank you for loving me. I know this one is semi-obvious, but I am more than serious. You stood right by me, holding my hand, when I went through the worst year of my life. You were there to spoon-feed me when I was diagnosed with Cibophobia. You were there through the hundreds of break downs, the frustrating days when I was eating little to no food. You were there for all the therapy appointments, all the days it took me several minutes to swallow a small pill, all the days when I was so lost. You remained calm. You saved me. You loved me regardless.

Thank you for our jokes. When I'm with you, there's a smile on my face, a loud and embarrassing laugh about to break through, and an incredibly warm heart. You bring me so much joy with just your presence alone. I know you can never stay mad at me for long, and although it's rare that you are, I love that I can make you smile and forget all about it. And I love that you can do the same even more.

Thank you for being so beautiful. I get compliments all the time about how much I look like you and there seriously isn't a greater compliment I could receive. When you smile and laugh, you glow. Your olive green eyes that you gave to me light up when I surprise you by coming home without telling. So many features I got from you and I couldn't be happier to be anyone else's look-a-like. You have such a beautiful, courageous heart and that's my favorite part of you.

Thank you for always believing in me. I don't believe in myself often until I hear from you. Your texts throughout the day, the calls I receive, the FaceTime dates we have.... I use these simple gestures as motivation to believe in myself. Because I know you believe in me. There's nothing in this world that would hurt more than disappointing you — and I thank you for instilling that belief in me.

You give me something to fight for. You taught us from a young age that we can do anything we fight hard for, and although the time went too fast, here I am, doing what you taught me to.

You deserve the world and I tell you that often in hopes you'll finally believe it. You are worth more than gold.

You deserve the happiness you are receiving — every bit of it.

Mom, you are my happy place.

Sitting with you in the big maroon chair back at home is my happy place.

Cuddles with you on Sunday morning is my happy place.

Breakfast on the lawn with you is my happy place.

Being wrapped in a big hug from you is my happy place.

This life is my happy place.

Because of you.

"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings." — Ariana Dance

Cover Image Credit: Tami Auen

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A Letter To My Parents

When I was younger, I never understood my parents. Now, I'm starting to, and I want to say thank you.

Dear Mom and Dad,

It’s a new year, and this year I’ll turn 21. When I was a kid, I never understood you guys, and sometimes I still struggle to, but as I get older, things get clearer. As I start to understand more about who you are and why you do what you do, I want to say thank you.

Thank you for coming here to America to make better lives for yourselves, and by extension, us. I could never imagine how hard that was, but I’m proud to be an American and even prouder to be your daughter.

Thank you for all the times you were hard on me as a kid. I didn’t understand then, and I can’t definitively say I do now considering that I’m not a parent. However, all of those experiences made me the person that I am today, and for that I am grateful.

Thank you for at least trying to support all the quirky things I wanted to do and try when I was a kid, it has made me more confident in who I am all these years later.

Thank you for making our house a home, even though at times it hasn’t been ideal. That is a skill I hope to carry with me throughout my whole life. Already it has helped me with an idea of what I’d like my future home to look like.

Thank you for teaching me that homemade meals and family dinners are important. I’ve moved out now, and I’ve met plenty of people who have rarely ever had dinner with their family as a whole, and I sometimes think that’s quite sad.

And most of all, thank you for your support. I’ve grown up a lot in the last couple of years, and I feel even more so in the last couple of months. The support you’ve lent me is a large part of why I’ve been able to make it through not only in one piece, but able to thrive.

You have been the best examples of individuals, parents, and life partners that I can imagine. Thank you. I love you.

Meera

Cover Image Credit: wikimedia

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