A letter to the strongest woman I know: Mom

Dear Mom,

After seeing how much empowerment women showed throughout the world for International Women’s Day, I couldn’t help but think of you. The strength and passion that was shown by girls and women was so inspiring, but you are still the first person I look to. International Women’s Day, without a doubt, should have put a spotlight on you and all the things you’ve accomplished in this life.

About a year ago, I decided to take a step back and really take a look at all you’ve done for me in the past. I often didn’t appreciate you or see all the different things you were doing to help me be successful. I just assumed they were things you did as a mom for your children. I didn’t see how above and beyond you really went for me. You never failed to be the best mom you could be and you were always there to make sure I was being the best I could be.

Our relationship hasn’t always been a piece of cake and often times we used to butt head’s. Although I was sassy for a couple years (and sometimes still I am) it was all part of the process. I now understand that the words ‘mom is always right’ is not a joke. You raised me to be a strong, independent individual. Although I’m working to be better every day, the solid base you helped me create as a child has really shown in these past few months of independence. People thought I relied too much on you and that I wouldn’t succeed without you, but I’m doing okay because you helped make me this way.

Thank you for the consistent support through all of my ‘different’ choices and goals in life. I know I’m not always the smartest girl. Sometimes the decisions I make aren’t the greatest but that’s never made you second guess my potential in this life. Thank you for spending constant hours dealing with, what is now irrelevant, drama. Thank you for showing me that going from having little to nothing to being able to pay for your two daughters educations and more is very possible. Thank you for showing me that I can do anything I set my mind to with patience, passion, and dedication. Thank you for showing me that being a strong woman is something to be proud of, not ashamed. You are successful in an occupation dominated by men. That itself is enough to prove that women like you should be celebrated. You are a role model to not only me but to women everywhere.

But most of all, thank you for being my mom, my best friend, my caretaker, my therapist, my shopping partner and my biggest fan. The selflessness and compassion you have is admirable beyond words. There is not a selfish bone in your body. The unconditional love you give to your daughters, friends, family and people you barely know shines through every day. Even on your worst days the people around you come first. I don’t need International Women’s Day to know that you’re everything I could’ve ever hoped for in a mom and more.

Wherever I go in this world Mom, always remember that I love you more and that I’m proud to be your daughter.