I’m sitting here on the front stoop, in the early dawn of a lovely day. There are birds singing sweet songs all around me, while I sip on a cup of hot tea. As I stare out at our small garden in our yard— with its tiny flowers, blossoming vegetables, happy herbs— It is you who I think of. You who bestowed upon me a love for both cozy cups of hot tea and of gardening. You who nurtured me as I was growing up, just like a delicate little plant. It’s so hard to find the words to tell you how grateful I am to have you as my mom. How does one tie up with a neat verbal bow so much love?
You were the one who read me books at every bedtime, and always did the funny voices.
You were the one who would lie down in bed with me when I was little (and even not so little) until I fell asleep, because I was afraid of being alone.
You were the one who would wake up in the middle of the night when I came to your room after a nightmare, and without a single complaint come to lie down with me yet again.
You were the one who, with seemingly endless patience, homeschooled me during my middle years and taught me in the most thoughtful and creative ways, making schooling so much more fun.
You were the one who spent hours sewing the most beautiful holiday dresses for me, and eventually gave me the gift of teaching me how to sew for myself— an art which helped shape my life and has always brought me immense joy.
You were the one who, later in my life, I always turned to with questions and concerns during my first pregnancy; you who always made me feel so much better, at ease, and confident throughout that time.
And you were the one who instilled in me the confidence to have a natural childbirth, one of the single greatest experiences of my life.
All of these things, and so many more, have helped to shape me into the person I am. The mother I am. And it’s only after becoming a mother myself that I finally have enough experience and wisdom to recognize how profound, truly profound, all that you did for me was. I never worried about being a good mother to my own children, because your presence in my own life made it impossible for me to ever doubt myself. You gave me that. How can I ever thank you?
Mom, I love you. Ever so.
Love, your daughter.
photo of me and my mom, circa 1985