Thank You, Mom

Thank You, Mom

We all need a whole lot of love from momma.

Thank you, Mom, for being so gracious and loving.

I'd like to say that you have been blessed to be the mother of the best child ever, but that simply is not true. I should be saying that I'm blessed to have been chosen to be your child. I know I don't say thank you enough for everything you do for me, but I want you to know that even though I don't say it, I am forever grateful. I realize that you have dedicated the last 20 years of your life to take care of me. You no longer made decisions based on what you wanted, but based on your children. I read stories about mothers who abandon their children and don't want them, but you could never be that selfish. You are selfless in my eyes. You put others before yourself, you aspire to Christ-like and you are the best you that you could ever be.

You tell me stories all the time of all the things I was into as a child and how rambunctious I was and how you thought if I was alive at the end of the day that you were doing good. Well, if I do say so myself, I think you've done a great job, then and now. I'm 20 now and I still depend on your advice whether you think I do or not. I value your opinion more than anyone I know, because after all, you do know me better than anyone. Sure, I've had girl friends who know a different side of me than you know, but you are still the one person I know that I can vent to, tell secrets to and not have to worry about it getting spread down the grapevine.

Mom, I'm selfish to depend on you to do everything for me. I know that I should do more for you than I do and I'm being serious. I know you can't sit around in a messy house and that you feel you should be doing something, but I'd appreciate it if you would just take a break and have a "you day." By that I mean a day where you do absolutely nothing, whether that be going out with friends or just watching TV. You deserve not just a "you day" but you deserve the world.

I wish I could thank you for every single thing you have ever done for me, from changing my diapers, to holding my hair when I'm sick, to taking me to the hospital, to waiting for me at basketball and volleyball practices, to praying with me at church. I could go on and on about all the things you do for me that I'm grateful for. Most of all, Mom, I am grateful for you. You are everything I aspire to be. I know I joke about being your twin, but I wish I was because that would mean that I'm beautiful, intelligent and strong. You are the strongest person I've ever known. You are the most beautiful woman I've ever known. You are the most intelligent woman I've ever known. You are the best mother I could've ever prayed for.

Thank you, Mom. I love you with my entire heart and I thank God for you every single day!

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.

Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Mom And Dad, Your Differences Made Me Who I Am

They are two halves of the person I aspire to be — a thoughtful person, committed to excellence in each of her areas of passion, who is hungry to build upon the extensive base of experiences that she has acquired to date.


My parents, the most important factors in shaping who I am, are a mosaic of juxtaposed perspectives, a tribute to the notion that "opposites attract." Dad once tried to explain their differences in the language of the Myers-Briggs personality inventory; his introversion versus Mom's extraversion, his thinking to her feeling, etc. Labels aside, the consequence of living with their differences was balance and an ability to place equal value on both breadth and depth in any aspect of life.

Nothing underscored competing for parental influences in our household better than the typical dinner conversation around the events of the school day. I'd usually lead with news of some test result. Mom would be quick to congratulate my good work while deflecting the conversation toward upcoming social events or some drama involving my friends. Dad preferred to discuss the specific problems I missed, even if 97% were correct.

Over time, I came to realize that Mom's seemingly dismissive attitude toward academic achievement was not meant to minimize its importance. To her, what went on in the world of human relationships beyond the classroom, was equally important. Similarly, Dad's insistence on reviewing every incorrect problem was not indicative of some ridiculously high standard of achievement. Instead, it was his way of communicating the value of always striving to be better and the importance of treating every mistake as an opportunity to learn.

Extracurriculars, like sports, were also illustrative of this household dichotomy. Mom would encourage me to join as many different activities as possible, just to give them a try. In the heart of the club spring soccer season, she'd sign me up for golf lessons, a charity 5K run, or volunteer my time to tutor a neighbor's friend. Dad cared more about mastery of specific sports. Quick to point out areas for improvement, he pushed me to excel through relentless practice and total commitment.

It was often difficult to reconcile Mom's push for diversification and Dad's push for focus, but I eventually realized that each was acting in what they perceived to be in my best interests. Mom wasn't tired of sitting on wet, soggy sidelines, she wanted me to have a broad range of experiences so I could find my true passions. Her mantra was that you couldn't know unless you try. Dad didn't push me to constantly practice because he expected me to get a soccer scholarship. Rather he wanted me to understand the work that it takes to achieve excellence.

Much to Dad's vexation, Mom often scheduled activities that interfered with practice times. We'd routinely go on vacation a few days early or to take a night off to see a play. Summer vacations were sacred and trumped any other commitments. The day school was out we would leave for the east coast and not return until just before school began. Lengthy absences meant leaving all commitments behind, including summer training seasons.

Dad never overtly opposed Mom's summer plans, but I knew he was troubled by them. Excellence required a commitment that was not compatible with being absent for several months each year. Mom was not against sports or the commitment they required, but she placed supreme value on the exposures and experiences that a summer of travel could offer.

Over time, I learned to live fully in each of my parents' worlds. When it was time to study or practice, I gave everything I had. Equally, I joined Mom's adventures, with eager eyes and a full heart. I learned that there is not just one way to be raised or a single way to approach a situation. I was never made to choose between competing views in my household, I was challenged to fully embrace each. My parents' perspectives are less conflicting and more complimentary.

They are two halves of the person I aspire to be — a thoughtful person, committed to excellence in each of her areas of passion, who is hungry to build upon the extensive base of experiences that she has acquired to date. I hope to be as deep as I am broad, to be extremely flexible, and to be comfortable in the gray areas between the black and the white. Like my Mom, I engage the world around me and am fed by its energy, and like my Dad, I am introspective and fully at home in the world of ideas.

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