Even though I could have done a better job expressing my gratitude over the years, I have always appreciated all the things you did for me growing up.
As I sit here trying to get words on the page, my mind is flooded with all of the things I could say about all that you did and still do.
Like the fact that you let Shawn and I have a paper route when we were way too young to do it all on our own. You would get up at 5am to help us fold papers and get out the door on time. You even did it with us when we couldn’t do it on our own.
Or the way you encouraged and supported me to pursue the things that interested me. When it was sports, you drove over two hours in horrible whether to be at my game and watch me sit the bench. You were always there to greet me afterwards telling me I did a great job even when I barely played 2 minutes. When it was music, even though you probably dreaded the purchase of my first drum set, you were supportive and excited the day I brought them home and always let me practice even when it was inconvenient for you.
When it came to friends you were always open to our house being the “hang out” house. Which meant you had extra mouths to feed and a bunch of teenagers infringing on your space, but you always welcomed them in.
When it came to my accomplishments, you celebrated with me making me feel like I was the best in the world. When it came to my failures and losses, you knew when I needed space and I when I needed you close.
When it came to major decisions and I didn’t know what to do, you were always there to give help, advice and direction. Even if it meant driving two hours just to sit with me for a lunch or a dinner.
And though, now I am all grown up, your encouragement and support are still present. Not just for me, but for my family. As I now raise my own kids my affection and appreciation for you has exponentially grown. All of the demands. All of the needs. I see who you were and who you are in a whole new light.
As I feel the weight of having to raise three kids, having so many dreams and desires for who they will become, I find myself drawing on the things you modeled for us over the years. The biggest mark you’ve left on my life and my parenting, isn’t all of what I listed above, as great as they were, but it was something much more simple, yet profound.
The thing I carry with me is your daily ritual of making it a point to tell us you love us and to give us a hug. I can recall evenings when we would be standing in the kitchen talking about the events of our day. And before the conversation ended, sometimes in the middle of the conversation, you would get my attention and ask, “Have I told you that I loved you today?”
And if I shrugged my shoulders unsure, you would look me square in the eye and say, “I love you. You know that right?” Then you would ask, “Have I hugged you yet today?” At this point I knew it didn’t matter what I said. You were going to hug me anyway, even if you already did.
As I look back over the years, the most significant mark you left on my life and they way you impact your grand daughters, even in your absence, is through this simple act of a daily hug and reaffirming your love for me, no matter what we were going through.
I am who I am today because of you. Thank you for being you. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day!
This is my mom Jama (pronounced jay-ma).