Father's Day has always been an awkward holiday for me. It usually pertains going to the cemetery and sitting by my dad's grave for a while. I'll shed a tear or two, release the sadness that I feel, and go home. I don't really feel comfortable being around others on this day because I don't feel the need to celebrate it (and I haven't felt the need to celebrate this holiday for years now). I don't like giving cards or doing anything other than being with my mom. It's not that I don't appreciate others, but if they're not my dad then what's the point? But when I go home and walk in, I see my mom and get enveloped in her arms, forgetting the pain we've felt because I know that she's both of my parents. She reminds me that I am loved, that these feelings will pass because we deal with them together. My mom had a choice after my dad died, and she chose her family. She chose to continue on because she loves me, and I don't know where I'd be without her.

No matter how crappy this day makes me feel, I am forever reminded of how lucky I am when I'm with my mom. Throughout all the hardships our family has been through I can look to her and see all the good I have in my life. We've come very far with the cards we have been dealt and made the best of it. She's always been someone I can go to for absolutely anything, and I'm proud to have her as my mother. Despite what others say about her, she's the best mother for me and that's all she has to be. She's done her absolute best and continues to do so.

Taking on the role of a father is hard for anyone, even one that is alive. She's gone above and beyond when it comes to parenting me, and no matter what others have to say about her she always moves forward. Sure, we've had our own ups and downs, but who doesn't? Everything we go through only makes us stronger. She's someone I look up to, someone I strive to be like. I want to have the same positivity that she has, the same outlook she has about life; she'll take anything that comes at her and make it work.

So this is to you, mom, for being such a strong woman throughout my life, for teaching me all that I know, for holding me up when I'm down, and for taking on another role in my life. You've always helped me through everything, and together we've made such a great family that no matter what others say, we'll always stand tall and rise above it. I'm happy to call you my mom and my dad; you've made such a tremendous influence in my life and continue to do so. I wouldn't want anyone else to play both roles in my life. Thank you for being you.

I love you.