Every year that passes, I realize how much I need you and how much you have been in my corner-even when I was blinded by self-centered desires. Your unconditional love was on display through it all. If only there were adequate words to convey the emotions in my heart for the gratitude I have for your role in shaping my life. It is hard to detangle the emotions in my heart and put into words that could even come close to describing how I truly feel.
From the beginning, you were there. You went beyond physical provision of the things I needed for survival. You moved beyond the “normal” expectations of nurturing. More than that, you did a large chunk of parenting on your own. The moments we resided under the roof of a fractured family, you held us together. You were the glue. You were our rock, and it didn’t end there. When our pieces were put back together through healing, you continued to play that role. You still do.
I can only imagine how it may feel like the endless sacrifices you make go unnoticed, but there is no way they ever could. From the 100,000 miles registered on our car from countless trips back and forth to practice, to the insane amount of hours you’ve logged in the kitchen cooking me meals catering to my high-maintenance dietary needs. I know I tracked countless muddy footprints on your newly-cleaned hardwood floors. I have made mountains out of molehills and used you as my source of strength and comfort throughout. I complained non-stop about wearing those “puffy coats” because I hated the way they looked (even when you were just trying to keep me warm).
When I was younger, I didn’t grasp that you went beyond what a mother had to do. I just assumed it was normal for a mother to invest time beyond her means to teach us, love us, play with us, and nurture us. I didn’t realize it was something sacred that my sweet momma invested extra hours (that were riddled with our complaints) practicing school work in the summer, taking us to church, discussing content after church service, praying for and with us, making our favorite meals upon request, packing homemade school lunches, and staying up hours later than you wanted preparing for our future needs. I didn’t understand we were struggling to make ends meet when you were a single mother. But now, I understand why it never occurred to me. You never once showed us the burdens you were handed. You sheltered and protected us as you relentlessly strived for excellence on our behalf in every arena of life.
So, this is my best attempt at saying thank you for the countless sacrifices you have made and the never-ending lessons you have taught. Thank you for teaching me to cultivate a relationship with Jesus and being the best physical embodiment of Jesus’ love in mine. No, I am not just saying this because you are my mom. Anyone who has had the blessing of knowing you would be quick to agree with me. I love you more than words could ever begin to describe. Thank you for stewarding my life in every aspect and for never failing to love me. I can only pray to be half the mom you are.
To every woman who has loved as a mother or “like a mother,” I can assure you your child or bonus child’s feelings would mirror mine. There’s no easy way of summing up a mother’s job in a few words, but I can assure you that you are taking the hardest job and making it look easy. Thank you for your sacrifices, and for steadfastly loving your children-especially through difficult seasons. Thank you for the laughter, the tears, and the memories shared. Our love for you is endless.
Maddy is more than your average guest blogger; she’s my daughter. She is an avid reader and lover of non-dairy ice cream. When she’s not at the pool, you can find her at a coffee shop on campus among friends. She is fiercely loyal and has an uncanny ability to read situations and respond thoughtfully. She is not just taller than me, she has wisdom and the gift of writing that exceeds me. Though she is no longer under my roof, she is eternally close at heart.