Growing up, for as long as I can remember, it's always been me, you, Toya and Dylan. You raised us by yourself and made sure we did well in school. You always encouraged us to dream big and motivated us to go to college. While people always tell us we look alike and I always deny it, I'm finally starting to see the similarities in our appearances and personalities.
We both have a dimple on one side of our cheeks and excelled at school. But in contrast, we both have our moments where we let our attitudes get the best of us. I inherited my love for reading from you and I always loved hearing the stories from your childhood of you staying up late to read a book. Growing up with a daughter is easy until she goes to high school.
When I was in high school, it seemed as if we argued every day. I wanted to move out nearly every week and couldn't wait to go to college.
Looking back I realize that I was just being a selfish child who only cared about my own well-being. When I went to college, I really realized how much I needed you. Since I stayed in Columbia for school, I'd call you anytime I needed something and you'd always come as soon as you could.
I honestly should have called more. I always expected you to be ready to help me but I couldn't even pick up the phone and check on you. I still was a selfish child thinking the world owed me something. By junior year, I began to realize that I had to grow up.
But then life took a sharp turn in August 2018, when you had a stroke.
After your stroke, I just felt guilty. Guilty because I was having fun with my friends at the pool while you were in the hospital. I was trying to distract myself from realizing the world I once knew was falling apart. Guilty that I always asked so much of you. I felt like I was one of the unnecessary causes of stress in your life which resulted in the stroke.
You have always taken care of me and now the roles are reversed. Sometimes I have to help take care of you. While this situation is not ideal, it has helped me mature a lot.
Thank you for always being my biggest fan. Without your love and support, I honestly wouldn't be where I am right now in life.
I still have a lot more growing up to do and I'm thankful that I have you in my life as a great role model. You always push me to keep striving; I'm grateful God allowed such an amazing, loving and strong woman to be my mother.
I love you so much more than you will ever know.