To my Mama: Thank you for my beautiful life.

I didn’t truly get the impact of Mother’s day until I became one. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved you. I have always valued your roll as my Mama. But I didn’t get it.

I didn’t get that a single day out of 365 isn’t enough. I didn’t get that flowers, cards, treats, and hugs couldn’t grasp the gratitude you deserve. All those things are a decent baseline, and definitely cherish-able. But you deserve more.

You deserve a trip to Hawaii, in the nicest beach house on the prettiest beach they have to offer.

You deserve a monument where all of your future ancestors can go and touch a piece of you and read about the hardships you overcame, and the dignity and grace you maintained through it.

You deserve a constellation, or even a galaxy.

You deserve books to be written about you.

You deserve so much more than I could ever give you.

You see, it’s more than just the fact that you raised 6 girls in an immaculate home, where dinner was ready to go when Dad got home. It’s more than the boo boos you kissed, and the monsters you prayed away. It’s more than bath times, bed times, breakfast, lunch and dinner times. It’s more than helping with homework, and taking us to youth group. It’s about the love you gave doing all of it. The love that began before you were pregnant. 

Before I was ever born, you prayed for me, and over me. You loved me before you ever met me. You spent years hoping to have me. That is a love that cannot be described with words eloquent enough to capture it.

What word can encompass the specific type of joy, excitement, and gratitude that causes your heart to beam with a fiery heat as you first laid eyes on those two lines the pregnancy test revealed? Or how that burning love grew deeper when you first held your newborn baby?

What word grabs ahold of the pride and enthusiasm you have when you see your baby roll, coo, crawl, talk, and walk for the first time? When you cry because it’s amazing to get to know this little person, but you wish time would pause for only a minute.

How can I explain what it feels like to snuggle with your child after a tough day full of what you feel were failing moments. When the emotions you have during those forgiving cuddles remind you of when they were two weeks old and only wanted to be near you,  even though you had no clue what you were doing?

What can I say to explain that even in your “failing moments” you were the only Mom I ever wanted? When you were overwhelmed with not having much help or guidance with raising the 6 of us, we couldn’t tell. All there has ever been is love, adoration, and trust in you. In those days of turmoil we always knew we had refuge in your arms. You were our constant.

How can I explain how much I look up to you, especially now as a Mother myself. You got so much right, Mama. So. Much.

You answered all of our silly questions, no matter the subject. You had perfect guidance for our spirituality and faith in the Lord. I think of the millions of questions we asked you, and how you answered each with wisdom and accuracy. Questions I don’t know that I could answer as well if my daughter asked me about them.

How many sleepless nights did you pray through when you didn’t know what to do? How many nights did you stay up and counsel us when we asked for your help? How many nights did you spend awake in bed, crying because we had selfishly broken your heart with our defiance? Too many to count.

How many times did you show unconditional love and support, no matter how different we ended up being. How many times did you forgive us when we let you down repeatedly?

A Mom like you is rare gem. You are caring, joyful, calm, patient, empathetic, generous, gentle, self sacrificing, stern, strong, and humble. Against all odds, you encompass the traits of a saint.

I owe everything to you. Not only have you given me a beautiful, and joyful life, but you have shown me that it is possible to be good, even when you’re dealt a bad hand of cards. You have shown me a glimpse of the love of God, just by being who you are.

So when you look back, and you harbor on your “bad moments” I hope you can stop, and know with confidence that you are not made up of your bad moments. That is not the truth of who you are. That is not the big picture of your Mothering.

You have always been precious. You have always been adored. You have always been encouraging, and nurturing. You will always be the beacon of strength, love, faith, and grace in our family.

You will always be a blessing.

You have always been enough.

I will always be so thankful that I have you as my Mom.

I will always love you beyond measure.

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