Hi Mom,

I'm writing this letter to you because I think it is time I truly tell you how grateful I am that you are my mom. You have done so much for me in my 21 years of life and I wish there was something I could do to give it all back to you because you deserve the world and more after everything you have done and gone through for me.

You had me when you were only 17 and I can only imagine how scary that must have been. Instead of giving in to other alternatives you decided to do whatever it took to give me the best life possible. You got your GED, went to school and worked a full time job all while still being a kid yourself. No matter how hard times got, you kept pushing through and because of that, to me that makes you the strongest woman I know.

For 7 years it was just you and me against the world. You encouraged me to do well in school, to never let me settle for anything without working hard towards my goals. You never let me know if you were struggling, though we didn't have much, we had enough and we had each other. We were and still are each others best friend. We grew up together, and learned from one another.

Sometimes you had to fill the role of not only one parent, but two because my biological father wasn't around. You did your best to make sure that I didn't feel left out when my friends had dads to do things with. And the days when I got disappointed or let down by him, you reminded me to not have hatred towards him but rather prove that I was better off.

Each day you encouraged me to be confident and stick up for myself, to not let anyone tell me different. You taught me what it means to be strong and independent and not to depend on anyone but myself. You raised me to be a fighter. You taught me how to love life, no matter what it threw my way that I take it as a blessing.

Though we have had our ups and downs the older I got, at the end of the day I know that you will be there for me no matter what. Even when you can't do much, you try your hardest to help me out in any way you can. I apologize for the times that I stressed you out and tried to push you away. Even when I refused to listen to you, you did your best to make sure I didn't learn things the hard way but sometimes you had to in order for me to learn.

You love me, my brother and sister unconditionally even if we make you want to pull your hair out. You strive to give us the world because you think we should have it all.

You always know what to say when I get myself down or stressed out. You comfort me in times of need and allow me to come home when school, life or relationships become too much for me to bear. You showed me my self worth and the love when even I didn't love who I was. You are my support system and I cannot thank you enough. You fought some of my battles for me and defended me because you refused to let me be hurt by the outside world.

Even though I am an adult you still manage to make sure I stay humble and appreciate everything life has given me. At times it may feel like I get annoyed by how many times you call or text me while I am away at school, I never take them for granted and I cherish the times I get to talk and see you.

Thank you for standing by all my decisions no matter how rash they are or whether you approve of them or not. You raised me to be my own person, to not follow the crowd but to walk my own path because all you wish for me in this crazy world is to be happy.

I am thankful that you gave me the life that you did.