I have no words to describe how much I appreciate all of the suffering you have gone through raising me.
I know my father was not really there and that left you with all of the bills and expenses that come with having children.
When I was growing up, I resented you a lot because my friends were taking piano lessons, doing soccer, or going to summer camp and I never had those experiences, even if I wanted to. I also think a part of me blamed you for not allowing me to do those things, but now that I am older and I look back on it, I realize that it was not your fault.
I will never be able to go to summer camp now and I think it is a little late for soccer or piano lessons, but I learned so many more valuable lessons growing up.
I watched you work multiple jobs, try to go back to school at the same time, and come home to take care of us. Most of the time, we only had one car and the name brand clothes we got were from the Thrifty Store. I was embarrassed about things like that when I was younger, but now that I'm older, I am not embarrassed about where I came from (and I learned how to tell if clothes are overpriced).
I look back and I feel so guilty for the way I treated you, especially as I became a teenager. We argued all the time, I gave you attitude, I wanted to be like the other kids at school with their fancy shoes and their name brand clothes. But, I realize now that I should not have been that way towards you. We were not like other kids and we did not grow up like other kids, but we learned what hard work was and we understood that life does not always hand you things.
You played the role of both of my parents. You gave me relationship advice, listened to my friend drama, you were there for all of my school dances, and you did almost all of it on your own. You accepted me for who I was and told me I was beautiful everyday. You still do that.
You told me not to care about superficial things like fancy makeup or expensive shoes. You never judged me or criticized me for wanting to wear Converse or drugstore makeup and you taught me to love who I am and where I came from.
I know we did not have it as bad as other kids. Some of my peers grew up in poverty with close to nothing to their name, and we did not have to worry about that, but we had all of the things we did because of you.
I learned long ago to forgive you for some of the unbroken promises and the "once I get my tax money, we'll buy that," because you tried the best you could and you worked hard to support us. Life was not perfect with materialistic things but I never questioned whether you loved me or cared for me. I always knew how much you loved me and I still do.
I'm so sorry for the shit I put you through when I was a snotty teenager, but I'm older now and I cannot tell you enough how proud I am of you. I am proud of everything you did for us and everything you went through to give us the best. You always gave us love and reassurance and I can't wait to graduate college and finally take care of you.
I love you and I do not think there are enough words in the English language to thank you for being my mom and my dad, and for giving me more love than I thought possible.