Dear Mom,

It is impossible to put into words everything I appreciate about you. From who you are as a person, to the person you raised me to be, everything about you is amazing. First of all, thank you for never giving up--on our family or on me. From day one you have been my support system and my greatest fan. Thank you for sitting in the gym for countless hours letting me play the games I love. Thank you for traveling across the state to cheer me on even when I was on the bench. Thank you for the thousands and thousands of dollars you and dad spent on my education.

Thank you for taking me to church every Sunday. Thank you for the greatest gift you ever gave me--my siblings. Thank you for teaching me to be independent. Thank you for letting me find out on my own that the boy was no good for me. Thank you for being my shoulder to cry on when I finally realized it. Thank you for coming get me when I was drunk. Thank you for waiting up for me to get home at night. Thank you for keeping my secrets. Thank you for singing to me as a child.

Thank you for teaching me that a little sunshine can do wonders for my mood. Thank you for being my role model. Because of you I know the kind of mother and teacher I want to be. Thank you for not killing me when I changed majors because I wanted to be an underpaid teacher like you. Thank you for pretending to care about my drama just because you knew I needed to vent. Thank you for actually caring when I had a problem and needed advice. Thank you for all the traits you passed down to me. Not the physical ones, since I look nothing like you, but everything else. Thank you for your intelligence, sense of humor, strength, empathy, love, and faith. Thank you for teaching me right from wrong. Thank you for disciplining me. Thank you for always making me stick to my word. Thank you for being the glue that holds our family together. Thank you for always putting our needs before your own. Thank you for waking up early to fix me breakfast for eighteen years. Thank you for all the little, subtle ways you let me know I was loved.

Thank you for supporting my decision to move away for college. And thank you for always letting me come home, even if it's just for the night. Thank you for all of our inside jokes. Thank you for being weird and silly with me. Thank you for all the laughs you have given me, especially the ones that bring tears to our eyes. Thank you, also, for all the tears. The hard times are what made us this close. Above all, thank you for finding the perfect balance of mother and friend. So many people go through life with a mom who is constantly trying to be a friend and not a mother. So many more have a mom who is strictly an authority figure to them and nothing more. I have been blessed to have the best of both worlds. As I get older, we become even better friends, but I know you will also always be my momma. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Love,

Your Biggest Fan