I love you to the moon and back. I love you to infinity. I love you this much
You are my inspiration. You may not have known it, but I was always looking up to you. You turned an at-home daycare into a blossoming business with multiple locations. I loved visiting your office from my classroom and giving out your business cards. You were an entrepreneur and I told everyone, “Mommy is the boss!” Then, when your partners stole the business from beneath you, I watched as you tirelessly fought to keep your hard work untainted and were forced to give up your business and reinvent yourself.
You left very little time for wallowing before you enrolled yourself in college to finish your Bachelor’s Degree and your Master’s all at once. While you were taking courses to become a Guidance Counselor, you also worked at a Headstart and then as a lunch lady. I hate to admit, I felt embarrassed that you were a lunch lady. Please forgive me!
What I didn’t realize was that you and Dad were trying your best to make ends meet for our family. I missed you during those years, but I saw my strong mother fighting for a life for herself and us kids. You worked your way up from lunch lady to manager of the lunch ladies and I was proud. No matter how your coworkers treated you at the start, you insisted on killing them with kindness until you broke down their walls and gained their respect. No matter how hard life got or how many people tried to bring you down, you pushed back and you always got back up no matter how many times life knocked you down.
You are my strength.
You taught me to be resilient in times of hardship. You taught me to never give up. It is because of you that I am strong. When it took a whole year to find a counseling job after you graduated with your Master’s, you kept hitting the pavement and going for interviews. Then one morning when you were almost ready to give up, the phone rang and Philadelphia School District called with a job for you. You told me the Universe always looks out for you and has a plan even if you can’t see it.
You taught me to have faith. When times got rough, you peppered me with inspirational quotes that kept my hopes up. You would always say, “this too shall pass,” or “there will be a rainbow at the end of the storm.” Your little sayings will always stick with me even after you’re gone (which is hopefully never!).
Life was never straightforward or easy for you, but somehow you continued to see the light. When you were forced to switch schools multiple times for various reasons and had to reinvent yourself again and again, you didn’t let it stop you. You reestablished yourself over and over again. Each time you picked up your pieces and kept going. Each time you reached a place of comfort and stability things would change again. I felt bad for you, but I knew that you would survive no matter what life threw at you.
You are my support system.
When I couldn’t find a job for 10 months and was ready to give up, I remembered what I learned from watching you. I picked myself up and kept fighting until I found my place. Your inspirational words kept me from reaching rock bottom. Your example of how to push forward taught me to keep going.
When I kept finding myself in failing relationships and wasn’t sure if I would ever find true love, you encouraged me to keep looking. Your relationship with Dad had stood the test of time and I wanted a partnership like yours. This created some lofty ideals for me, but it forced me to never give up searching for my soulmate until I found him. And I did. I would have never found Ethan, if you weren’t a symbol of lasting love for me.
“You are the wind beneath my wings,” as the song goes. Without you I would have never become the woman I am today. When I was too shy to make friends in middle school, you sent me on my first trip abroad to the UK and Ireland with People to People. I returned a different person. I was confident and that was because of your encouragement. In times of trouble you were my shoulder to cry on and my warm hug. In times of success and happiness, you were my cheerleader, applauding me from the sidelines.
You believed in me no matter what. If I wanted to be an Actress, you sent me to acting classes and supported my dreams. When I said I wanted to be a dancer, you signed me up for Hip Hop classes and came to all of my recitals. Then I chose to be a writer, and you framed all the pieces I published. Thanks for always rooting for me even if my dreams seemed far fetched. Thanks for always defending me when others put me down. It is because of you that I went to college and got my Master’s. You were the first in your family to get a degree. I wanted to continue your hard work.
Being a woman is never easy, but you are the strongest woman I know. You taught me to never depend on a man for your own survival. You can cook, do laundry, fix anything that is broken, and manage your own money. Dad is a great partner, but you definitely have many strengths in the relationship. I wanted to be strong like you. I wanted to be fierce and independent. You encouraged that spark within me. I traveled the world alone, because of your support and belief in my strength. I sit here today knowing all of my accomplishments are a product of my upbringing. Thank you for that!
You are my best friend.
I am lucky enough to have you as a mother, but even luckier to have you as a best friend. I always felt comfortable to talk to you about anything. You are a great listener and great at giving advice. You always help me see the full picture and the other side of my argument. Even if at times it is frustrating to think you support someone else’s point of view besides mine, I knew you did it to help me be more empathetic and understanding of others. You challenge me to be a better person. When I was crying about starving children in Africa, you told me to do something about it. You inspired me to start getting involved in community service and giving back to the community. You taught me how to have a big heart like you. I love hanging out with you and talking to you on the phone when I’m living far away. You were always my friend when I had none, and you’ll always remain my best friend, even though I have some now.
That little scare of possibly losing you last week, really terrified me. I never want to think about losing you, but if we ever do I don’t want you to ever worry that we didn’t know you loved us or how you felt. We know. You made sure we knew. You sang, “My Girl,” to me as a kid, so that every time I hear that song I know you are with me. You read books to me like, The Runaway Bunny, where the mother tells the child bunny that no matter where he tries to run, she will be with him. She will be the wind in his sails, the pilot on his plane, the gardener in his garden. I know you will always be with me no matter how far away I go, because of that book. You read me, The Giving Tree, which taught me selflessness and made me realize how much you had given of yourself to me and Mandie. You will always be with us.
Your inspirational sayings and your love will carry on inside of us forever. You will never be gone from this Earth, because all that you have taught us will live on inside of us and then inside of our children and their children, forever. You have left your legacy with us and we will raise strong, caring children like you raised us. I’m crying as I write this, because I know the thought of your absence would be the hardest thing I’ll ever have to experience, but your strength will never die. It will live on within me.
You are my inspiration, my strength, my happiness, my best friend and my Mother!! I love you in the morning and in the afternoon. I love you in the evening and underneath the moon. Skiminarinky dinky dink skiminarinky do, I LOVE YOU!! (The Elephant Song we used to sing!)
Happy Mother’s Day!!