not only do i respect that, but I cherish that. I love that. I believe in that. Because all of "that", amongst your other boundless phenomenal qualities, you have shown me that "that" is what makes you amazing. It is what makes you, you.
your amazing, and endlessly capable qualities have shown me to stand back up. I have lived through (some) of your adversity. I have seen some of your most vulnerable moments. I have seen how you persevere in the most challenging moments of your life... and you have still, without question or scrutiny, have been able to be the best mother in the entire world. I have no idea how you do it but you have shown me to...
stand back up. To get back up when I've been knocked down... By my career, by my friendships, by my relationships, by myself. And, most importantly, in the face of adversity.
you have taught me to question everything. Everything. To question not only what things are, why they are, and how they are but what I want, but why I want it.
you have taught me how to forgive. And not just by the rude stranger who cut in front of me in line. But by the people who I love the most. The people who I have the utmost respect and reverence for. Because, as you have shown me, a life of anger and resentment is not a life worth living.
you have taught me how to support others. Especially those who need it most. I have seen you (countless days, weeks, months, years) sitting by your fading parents' sides. Through defeat and success. Holding on to their hands and hearts, and reassuring them, your daughters, and yourself that it is going to be alright.
you have taught me how to accept defeat. You have continued to hold your mother's hand, long after she has succumbed to the reality of Alzheimer's, though you continue to fight against it. And yet again I see you do it, with your father's hand in yours. But you still manage and look forward to visiting with Grandpa, in the last flicker of his life, when I cant, out of fear and naivety, see him and be present in the environment that he must endure. One day, I hope to do half of what you do, for Daddy and yourself.
you have taught me that life goes on. In the honor and reputation of those incredible relatives who have past. You openheartedly share with me the life, hard work, and dedication of my grandmother, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, and great grandparents. And you encourage me to honor their work, and exceed it in their name.
you have shown me what sacrifice truly is. You have shown me how sacrificing some of your life only improves, vastly, upon your child's. You have worked jobs that you probably did not like, and worked longer and harder at than you needed to, solely so that I could experience some of the things you didn't when you were my age.
you have showed me how to love. How to love unyieldingly, unapologetically, and without regret. You have said no to me when I wanted, deeply, to hear yes. You have said yes to me when, perhaps, it was in my best judgement to hear no, all for the sake of a dream. You have showed me that chasing your dreams is the best love you can ever give yourself. You have proven to me, through action and word, that you can and will love someone regardless if you've given birth to them or not. You have shown me that love, true love, can never be negative and can only make you the best person you can ever dream to be.
you are my rock.
you are my soul.
you are my purpose.
and most importantly, I hope and pray every day that I can be half the mom to my kids that you have been to me.