Twenty nine years, two months, and seven days ago you gave me the greatest gift that any one person can give. You gave me the gift of life. You brought me in to the world - I was your first child. From that very day, even though I couldn't tell you - I had more to thank you for than any person that has ever come in to my life since.
Over the course of 29 years we've had our ups, we've had our downs...but regardless, you always new best and showed me to accept my mistakes and my successes and help them define who I am. You never lost faith in me, you never stopped believing in me. You knew how to comfort me when I was sad, the words to say during heartbreak, and exactly the right way to help me pick myself up and move on.
Today you are a mother to six children, a grandmother to eight children. My own journey to being a mother has been traveled using the morals you instilled in me. I reflect on the day that I brought my first child into the world, having you there by my side, and know that I have been an amazing mother since that day thanks to you.
I didn't make my childhood, especially my teen years, easy on you... yet no matter how much I pushed you, you always came out of it loving me and letting me stand on my own two feet. My adult life has brought just as many challenges. I am no stranger to heart ache or countless mistakes - but during those tough times, there was only one person who I ever turned to for advice or just words of encouragement....you.
The same years have also brought joy and happiness. The birth of three children, and in less than a week a college graduation. You have cheered me on, given me advice, celebrated my victories, and helped me become the success I am today. I know in my heart that I would not or could not have done it without you.
Today, you are 49 years old with the heart and body of a 29 year old. You are beautiful both inside and out. You have traveled the same weight loss journey I have been on for the past year - and as a mother rightly should, kicked my butt. Your determination to get up every day, take care of the children still at home, the grandchildren you have with you right now, and still find time to stay healthy and fit is so inspiring.
My only hope in life is to live up to your standards of being a wonderful mother to my own children. To support them, nurture them, care for them, and be there for them - as you were and continue to be for me.
I love you Mom - more than these words can ever express.
Happy Mother's Day.
And it wouldn't be right to dedicate a post to my mother without showing you some pics, right? Well, here's a pic of my mom last summer and a pic of my mom in January. She truly is an inspiration to my weight loss efforts, as well as my life in general...