She had a wild, wandering soul, but when she loved, she loved with the chaos that made all the difference. – Ariana Dancu

Dear Mom,

This is a thank you letter. A thank you letter for all the tears I have cried on you, all the advice you have given me, all the laughs we have shared, all the lessons you have taught me and everything in between.

We are all damaged and broken, scarred by heartbreaks, rejections, sorrow, and despair that we have endured throughout our life. However, after each of those heartaches, you have sewn me back together. I can’t count how many times I have come to you, only you, when life was tough. And you are always there.

Countless people come and go in my life, but I will always know that you will be there. You will be there through it all. You will be the first one I call on every triumph and heartache because you are the only one in this world that will never let me down.

Through example, you have taught me the type of person, and the type of woman, I want to grow up to be.

You have taught me to love. Love with every fiber in me. To love is the most frightening thing in the world, but it makes life worth it. As you have mentioned, having children is the scariest thing in the world because it means you are ripping your heart out of your body for each child.

Despite this, you always said that you wouldn’t have changed a thing. When I was young, I thought to myself that seems awful, to have your heart vulnerable, exposed to the world, unable to protect it. However, through you, I have learned that loving is frightening, but it’s worth every ounce of pain and fear.

Life is worth it because we have the capacity to love so passionately and so deeply. And you, Mom, have so much love and light to give to this world. I am so lucky that I am the daughter of someone who has so much love within her.

You have taught me to keep my standards high. So many times, I have felt hard to love. I accepted companionship that I thought I deserved: mediocre and exhausting. Yet, you see something in me. You see something bigger, stronger, more beautiful than I could ever imagine, and you never let me forget it.

You have taught me that I can do anything. I am often overcome by self-doubt and fear when a new opportunity or a new challenge arises on my horizon. However, you believe, you know, that I can do it, even when I don’t.

I never understood this unwavering certainty you have in me, but I am eternally grateful for it. You think I can be the person I have always dreamed of being. Everything seems possible when I’m with you.

You have taught me to laugh. Never miss an opportunity to smile. Sometimes, I end up in a place where life feels so serious; adulthood overwhelms and there is not sense of youth and impulse anymore.

However, from your spontaneous dance moves to your witty one-liners, you make me realize that there is so much beauty in this world, so why don’t we take the time to recognize it, relish in it?

A best friend is someone who brings you up. A best friend is someone who sees something beautiful in you, even when you don’t see it in yourself. My best friend is my mom. I hope I can experience everything in the world with you.

For the rest of my life, I want to beat on with you. I want to share a drink with you, laugh with you, cry with you, smile with you. And I can’t wait for what the future holds, because it means we will be traveling there together.