I’m not really good at this whole “vulnerability” thing, so I’m writing you this letter. Everyone always tells me how strong I am, but if I said this all to you out loud, you’d see just how soft I am as my eyes well up.
There’s a lot of things I’ve never told you before. Like how when I was five, I stole a piece of penny candy from Putnam Pantry. I felt so guilty about it that FOUR years later, I was there for a birthday party and left a ten dollar bill on the counter. Or how when I was 16, I told you a beer fell off the shelf of the refrigerator and shattered…I actually drank it. The taste was punishment enough.
I never told you that when I was seven, I started checking to see if your chest was rising whenever you slept. I never told you that I still do that now. Or how when I go to the bathroom for the umpteenth time while you’re in the hospital, I’m actually going to the chapel to pray for you. I never told you that I pray for you every night. Remember the freshman year talent show, when I pulled you up on stage to sing You Give Me Hope? I never told you I did that because I thought you were dying and wanted to show how much I loved you.
You and I have been through more than our fair share of hard times. Still, we’ve always found a way to overcome. All we have to show for it is tired eyes and a morbid sense of humor, huh?
I’m proud of who you are, your little quirks and everything that makes you you. Like how you always get the third item in on the shelf because not as many people have touched it. Or how you always let me eat the last of something, even though you really wanted it. And the fact that you remain a warrior, when even the strongest of them all would have collapsed.
I remember when I was three, I said when I grew up I wanted to be just like you. Honestly Mom, I’d be lucky if I became half the woman you are. You are strong. You are selfless. Everyone you meet, you inspire. You are my hero.
Thank you. For loving me, even when it’s difficult. For believing in me, even when my dreams seem impossible. For being there, when everyone else fled. Thank you for everything.
I love you, Mom. 24/7.