I wish I could be with you to celebrate you this year. To celebrate your birthday Friday and Mother's Day today. Again, I'm feeling very far away.
Mom, I want you to know how much I love you. How much I appreciate your care, the many sacrifices you've made, your advice and your prayers. I want you to know how much I admire you.
It's been a hard year. It's been a hard decade (and longer), really. Yet through it all, you've been so strong. I'm sure that you had your moments of fear and frustration and anger and pain, but you were always strong in front of us.
You have always been strong for us.
Your strength is something that has become more apparent as I've grown and can now look back on my childhood and adolescence with the benefit of perspective. Whether by choice or because there was no alternative, you were strong. When faced with disappointments and tough decisions, when surrounded by uncertainty and an unclear future, when dealing with illness and disease, you were strong.
And through it all, you loved us.
I know now that, as a child, I didn't understand that love. As a teenager, I took it for granted. As an adult, I tested it. When Liam was born, I began to understand the depth of love that you can feel for your child, and also better understood your love for me. When Nathaniel died and I saw my grief mirrored in your eyes, I knew that that love never changes.
Mom, I count myself so very blessed to have you in my life. I know that you aren't thrilled with our plans to moved overseas (and take your grandkids further away!) but it is good to know that we always have a home to come back to.
Thank you for all that you've taught me, sacrificed for me and all that you've invested in me, physically, financially, spiritually, emotionally. You gave me life and I am the person I am -and the mother I am- because of you.
Your loving daughter,