2014 was a year full of transition and growth for me. There were a lot of laughs and plenty of tears, but through it all, my mom always stood by me. And for that, I am truly thankful. As a small token of my gratitude, I’m writing this letter to my mom on her birthday.
My life hasn’t been easy. There are so many times that I feel like I’ve failed. My heart has been broken. Relationships have failed, death’s shadow has followed me, and betray and deception have hurt me. Unfortunately, you weren’t able to protect me from all of this, but then again, how could you? Instead, you gave me an even greater gift than a pain-free life: you prepared me for the sufferings of this world by teaching me about original sin and the redemptive love of Christ.
Your life hasn’t been easy either. You grew up in a broken home with a family who didn’t tell you they loved you enough. Your mother was murdered, your first husband died unexpectantly, and you had to bury your son when he was just twenty-one years old. Quite frankly, the pain you have experience in your life should be unbearable, but despite all of this, you came to Christ and kept the faith.
You remind me of some of the great women of the Bible. Like Ruth, you left behind all that you had for something far greater. Like Esther, you trusted God when it would have been easier to protect yourself. And like Hannah, you trusted your children’s lives to God.
Mom, thank you for taking the time to get to know my friends — all of them. Thank you for opening our home to them, for cooking for them, and for cleaning for them all without asking for anything in return. Thank you for loving them and for continually making sure that I surround myself with respectable and responsible people through each and every phase of my life.
Thank you for investing in my education. You taught me how to read and instilled a love of learning in me at a young age. Thank you for all the time you spent preparing and teaching me throughout my time homeschooling, and thanks for stepping aside and letting me thrive in public school when the time came. Thanks for getting me to apply to Grove City College and for supporting me when school was hard.
Mom, I can’t thank you enough for letting me chase my dreams. You gave up everything for my soccer career — not just time and money — but your emotional health too. I know watching your child suffer through injuries was hard on you, but you continued to support me and helped me get back on the field so I could do what I love. But it’s not just my athletic dreams you supported — you let me travel the world, write a book, start a business — all at a cost to you. Not only did you support me financially, but you counseled me when I was discouraged or silently suffered when I took out my frustrations on you because you were an easy target. Thank you for being patient with me.
Thank you for letting me move to California when I know you didn’t want me to go. It’s funny because moving away actually made me feel closer to you. I developed a greater appreciation for the every day things you’ve always done for me — like cooking and cleaning — because I had to learn how to do those things for myself. Starting over in a new city has brought new challenges into my life, like feeling isolated and lonely, all things I know you have experienced for years. I want you to know that I understand how you feel, and I’m sorry I wasn’t more empathic in the past.
Lastly, thank you for all the fun times we’ve had together. I love that we can have a good time doing almost anything together. From walking the dogs and running errands to long road trips and playing games, there’s no one I would rather spend my time with. You’ve made me laugh until my sides hurt. You’ve brought the biggest smile to my face. You’ve hugged me and told me that you love me every day of my life.