There are so many things that I haven't told you. I am sorry that it's taken this long to get it all out but I hope that today you can understand the impact that you have had on my life. I hope that you can see that the woman I am today is only because of the woman that you were, are, and always will be. I am who I am because of the amazing woman that raised me. You are my role model, my best friend, my shoulder to cry on, my favorite cook, and the best mother I could have ever asked for.
There are so many things that I haven't told you that I'm not even sure where to begin. Remember all those times that you told me "no" growing up? I wanted to thank you for that. I wanted to thank you for keeping me safe and under your wing. I wanted to thank you for knowing what was best when my mind was too naïve and too unwise to know myself. I wanted to thank you for keeping me out of trouble and for not hating me when I still got into it.
Remember all those times that you grounded me or took away privileges? I wanted to let you know that I appreciate it now. You taught me that life has consequences and that I need to think before I speak and reflect before I do. I need to consider others and the significance of my actions. I'm grateful for the nights I was forced to spend in, and I'm sorry that I spent them locked in my room pouting instead of sitting out on the couch with you.
Remember all those times I told you I hated you? God I couldn't be more sorry for that. It kills me now more than ever that I could have ever said something like that to the woman who gave life to me. I know your intentions were always to keep me out of harms way and to teach me how to be a smart, sensible, and caring lady. I'm so sorry for ever raising my voice and saying things I swear I never meant. I could never hate you. I could never feel anything but deep, deep love and respect for you.
Remember all those times that some boy would break my heart? I remember how you would let me sulk in your room watching Lifetime movies until I'd stop crying. Thank you for the endless tissues, forcing me to eat something, not asking me what happened, and listening for hours when I decided to finally tell you. Thank you for not judging me for being 13 and thinking my life is over. Thank you for reminding me at 23 that it wasn't over, either. Thank you for your words of encouragement, the hugs that helped mend many broken hearts, and answering the phone at 2am when I just couldn't handle anything.
Remember all those times I'd freak out about the silliest things? When I'd call you the first time I had to grocery shop on my own and had a panic attack, or when I didn't know how to cook rice? Remember when I had no idea how oil changes worked, or what to do with my first speeding ticket? Remember when I got my first C in a class and hid it from you for months? Thank you for not thinking I was absolutely crazy and helping me with it all. Thank you for teaching me the little things to help me survive daily life, and for showing me what's important while helping me forget about what was not.
Remember the first day of kindergarten when I couldn't let you go? Thank you for pushing me out of the nest but letting me fake sick some days. Remember my first date when you dropped me off and picked me up at the movies because neither of us was old enough to drive? Thank you for letting me go, and for telling me I'll have to go on a handful of dates until the one that sticks. Remember my first day of college? I don't think I ever told you that I cried when you left. Thank you for being the type of mom that would make me cry from missing you the moment when you left me in my dorm.
There are so many things I haven't told you but I have to tell you now. I have to tell you that I could never have become the strong woman I am without you. I could have never learned to respect myself without the respect I have for you. I could never have learned to care for people without absorbing it from you. I could never have done half of the things in my life without you guiding me, even when you're not with me, your voice of reason sits on my shoulder directing me.
I haven't told you how grateful I am for you showing me the world and for giving yours up to do it. I haven't told you that I didn't understand sacrifice until I grew up and heard your story. I haven't told you that I didn't know what bravery was until I knew that you embodied it. I haven't told you that I don't think I could ever be as good of a mother as you were to me. I am terrified beyond belief that I could never live up to you, but I know you'll help me in that too.
At least I have told you that I love you but I probably haven't told you enough. I haven't told you enough that you're the main reason I never give up on my dreams. Well, here it is as a testament to how much you mean to me. I am sorry for the things that I never told you. Mostly though, thank you for being my mother, and I know that I will love you always and forever.