How I wish we could be together on this very special day, one of celebration and honor for you. Many of these things which I write have been said to you throughout the years, but some perhaps may have been left unsaid, so I want to make sure you hear them again.
As I think about you today I can clearly see a gentle smile, that glimmer in your eye when something makes you happy, the way you love to laugh, the joy you show when I travel home to visit, those tears we shed when I must leave…these things are etched in my soul.
Much of your life was filled with struggle and hardship. Having to quit school when you were in the seventh grade in order to work and help the family during the depression was a sacrifice most people will never know.
There were times when I was younger that I didn’t understand the misery you had to endure, the loneliness and pain of having to go it alone for so many years while trying to raise three children. You worked for everything you got, did whatever it took to try and make ends meet. You did the best you could do and the best you knew how. I still marvel at your strength.
Although you did not have a formal education you taught us what was important. We didn’t have much when we were growing up, but you insisted upon cleanliness, taking care of what little there was, you taught us to share, and we learned how to give. You taught us to be grateful for what we did have. You demonstrated a work ethic without complaint, and although we had to buy groceries on credit and you didn’t earn enough to pay the balance, you made certain a timely payment was always made. You taught us honesty and responsibility.
At times there were those who tried to either take advantage of you or push you down, but you always had the courage to rise above it and not allow others to have control over your life and determine the outcome of who you were. You taught us to be independent, proud of our accomplishments and listen to our inner voice.
Sometimes you were not around, but I came to understand there were things you had to do. You taught me forgiveness. We cried and shared our pain, but you showed me laughter and joy as we sang and played and danced together. What a wonderful dance partner!
Although you were divorced when I was young, when you spoke of my father you always affectionately referred to him as daddy. There is no doubt of your love for him, and I am confident that you did what you thought was best.
You didn’t always approve of everything I did, and despite voicing some objections along the way, at the end of the day you allowed me to make my own decisions and be who I wanted to be. If I faltered you never said "I told you so", but rather lent support and showed me that your love was always unconditional.
When I think of you I think of an incredibly strong woman, kind and gentle, unselfish in every way, a special lady who had little but gave us something of greater worth and that was your love, one we felt every day, a love that never wavered and was never compromised regardless of the circumstance. You taught us self respect.
I want you to know how much I love you and to thank you for helping me become who I am. God knows I am so blessed and thankful that it was you who were chosen as my Mother.
And although you have been gone from this earth for nearly six years, my eyes yet well with tears as I so clearly see your beautiful face and feel that warmth of your embrace even now. Happy Mother’s Day. How I miss you.