You are my hero - To my mom on Mother's Day
Dear Mom - Where do I start? You brought me life, which is arguably the greatest gift that anyone can give. I fully realize how difficult I was to raise, even though there were plenty of laughs and good times. I was a highly intelligent and sensitive kid with a lot of questions (and a rapier wit, too, right?). Now that I have a boy like this in my house, I know the challenges that it can present sometimes. He keeps me on my toes, as I know I did for you.
We went through a lot of tough stuff when I was in my early teens, as you well know. Although we both struggled mightily to maintain our sanity with an abusive and immature man under our roof, I think weathering that storm together made our relationship much stronger. You are one of my best friends. I love you dearly, and I love seeing the grandmother that you have become. You always were the "cool mom" and you probably knew that already, and now you are the "cool grandma". I am happy that my kids know you so well and that you have been an integral part of their upbringing thus far.
I was able to watch you take care of your parents as they aged and we mourned their passing from this world. Obviously, I was comforted by their faith and by the assurance that we will see them again someday. Now that we are caring for Jackie in our home, I would like to think that I learned a powerful lesson from you on this point, and that my kids are learning the same thing. As I have told you before, you won't have to worry about whether I will be there to care for you when you get older.
I wanted to publicly thank you for teaching me how to have compassion for those in need. Your lifetime of service in social work has been inspiring. I have jokingly told you that I would have considered social work if it paid better, but there is a truth underlying this that I know you recognize. I have done my best to carry this torch you passed to me as a child. I hope to see this develop in my own kids, and I have seen signs of this already in them. You are quite probably the most caring person that I have ever met, and it goes beyond your career.
You are a loyal friend as well, and this is a very admirable trait. I have tried to view my friendships with a long-term perspective in mind because I have seen the value of lifetime friends by watching you and your friends.
I have never doubted for an instant that you unconditionally love me, even when I have done some wildly stupid things over the years, especially in my late teens. You have never judged, just nudged me in the right direction in a pragmatic way.
Overall, I guess I'm happy that I can really be myself around you, not some censored and cleaned-up version of me. You know pretty much all of the stuff that I have struggled with, and I can't imagine that I would be the man I am today if you weren't my mom.
I love you. I know I say it every time we are getting off the phone with each other, but I wanted you to know that I really mean it. You're awesome - thanks for being there, always.