An Open Letter to My Mother

An Open Letter to My Mother

"My father ensures that the foundation underneath our house never breaks, but my mother makes sure it is a home."
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It's true that I've always been a daddy's girl. There was nothing I couldn't get out of him with a simple pout of my lower lip and some puppy dog eyes. When I was little, he was my hero and this was even before I could actually understand how hard he worked. At twenty-one years old, I still look up to my dad. I admire how he finds his way out of bed at four in the morning every day to work tirelessly just to make sure there is dinner on the table. I admire the efforts he makes to be there for important family events. I admire the way he shows his love more than he says it. He taught me how to work hard, how to be strong, and always be humble.

It is a different relationship between a mother and daughter. There have been plenty of fights, and not like the fights that I would have with my father because they rarely existed. With my mother, they were screaming matches and I've regrettably said "I hate you" my fair share of times.

Even through all of the arguments, even through all of my disrespectful teenage years, my mother has loved me unconditionally.

When I was younger, I didn't want my mom to have a job because I would miss her too much. While my dad was working, I spent my days with her. Every day, all day with her. And because I saw her much more than I saw my dad, she didn't really get the appreciation that she deserved. When I was little I didn't understand how hard staying home and taking care of me really was, but now I know that it was a challenge in itself.

She has forgiven all of my mistakes and never judged me for them. She stayed up with me all night when I was upset over a boy, letting my cry into her shoulder for hours on end despite the fact that she had work in the morning.

It's true that my father makes sure there is food on the table, but my mother turns it into something delicious. My father ensures that the foundation underneath our house never breaks, but my mother makes sure it is a home.

My mother gets off of work and has a whole other job to complete once she gets home. She is nurturing and caring. She makes sure that everyone had a good day, and if we didn't, she makes sure to take the weight off of our shoulders by the evening.

When I need something in my house, I cannot remember the last time I yelled for my dad. A mother is the glue that holds a family together. She is what keeps us all going and keeps us all on track, even if we don't always realize it. She knows where everything is, when some days are harder than others, or when I've been working myself too hard.

Throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school, having my mom around was just a staple. I couldn't be bothered. I would be out with my friends, come home for dinner, and leave again. When my mom would ask to spend time with me, I would brush her off.

It wasn't until I went away to college that I realized how important those moments are. I didn't realize how much I missed both of us getting sick and eating soup and watching movies together. I didn't realize how much I missed having someone to talk to about my day and being able to tell absolutely everything to. I didn't realize how much I missed her constant advice and input, even though I might've hated it at the time.

My mother raised me more than I understood at the time. I see a lot of her in myself, looks and personality. If I turn out to be as strong, intelligent, caring, loving, kind, and hard-working as my mom is, then I know I'll do okay.

Cover Image Credit: i.pinimg.com

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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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Enjoy Your Family While You Can, Because Family Is Everything

Make as many memories as you can with them.

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We often hear family means everything. And it is. There's nothing like family. They're your automatic people. They're stuck with you and you're stuck with them, whether you like it or not. Sometimes, or a lot of the time, they annoy the crap out of you. You fight. You make up. They annoy you again. But the commonality with all of these things, the reason why you can never stay mad, they're your family. And you love each other unconditionally.

My family and I are incredibly close. We always have been. For as long as I can remember, my entire family has always been there – parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. We truly embody the big family. And I couldn't be more grateful for that.

I have always been the type of person to hang out with my family. From movie nights to Disney trips, even game nights, I more often than not choose to hang out with my parents, sometimes more than my friends. I will always choose the road trips, filled with laughs and spontaneous bursts into song. The truth is I want to make as many memories with my family while I can because no moment is promised. There's no doubt that I also love my friends, and thoroughly enjoy my time with them too. But if I'm home or have the opportunity to be with family, I'm definitely biased.

Throughout my life, I've lost loved ones. I've seen those close to me lose the ones they cherish the most. It's easily the most difficult thing to go through. I know the pain of letting moments slip through your fingers, of wishing you have more time with your family. And I don't want to waste a second.

My parents are dorks. They drive me nuts sometimes. They embarrass me from every once in a while. But they're my dorks. They're my favorite people in the whole world. I wouldn't trade a moment with them for anything. I choose to spend my nights, my weekends with them because I value them, I cherish them. They have sacrificed everything for my sister and me, and I don't take that for granted.

I dread the day that I won't be able to call my mom and tell her all about my day. Or to laugh until I cry from my dad's unparalleled humor. This is why I want to indulge in all those little moments, those things that are not promised and I will not have one day.

If this last year has taught me anything it's that we need to embrace our loved ones while they're here, laugh as much as you can with them, make as many memories as you can with them. That's what I will be doing. Family is the most important thing to me and I will love them until the end of time.

Cover Image Credit:

Nicole Cantore

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