The time leading up to any wedding is filled with a myriad of emotions. When I thought about the day of my wedding, I wanted to have a special moment with my parents etched into my being for the remainder of my life. Loving to write like I so enjoy doing, I thought that words would help to convey the love and thanks that I felt for each of them throughout the journey of being their daughter. With it being Mother’s Day, I thought it would be an excellent time to share with you a snapshot of the love letter that I wrote for my Mom.
You are my Jil!, my friend, my mother, my prayer partner, my head scratcher, my splinter remover, and my nurturer. Long before I was ever a blip on your radar, you were praying for me and the woman that I would become. You showed me that your love went beyond my short time on earth, and you taught me about everlasting life and faith.
Because of you and Ese, I will spend eternity in heaven. I cannot think of a better gift for a parent to give a child than the gift of salvation, and the way that you raised me through example of Christ’s love. Your unwavering faith in God has taught me that all things are truly possible, and much easier with our strong faith to guide us.
You are a remarkable Mom, and I cannot put into words how thankful I am that you were chosen to be mine. Your love for me goes above and beyond what I can imagine, and I’m sure I’ll be thanking you continuously when I have children of my own.
I am so grateful for the sacrifices you made in your life to provide and give us the precious gift of time with you during our childhoods. Doing a job that you don’t love to spend more time with your daughters is not something all parents do,
but I now realize it was just a small example of the big way that you love us.
Thank you for the countless hours and sleepless nights that you spent (and continue to spend) praying for me, or sneaking into my room to make sure I was sleeping soundly and covered warmly. Even before I realized it, you were praying for me and my future. Your prayers covered everything from my health, school, friends, career, and future husband. As a mother you placed me before yourself even when I was truly undeserving of your love.
When I stop to think not of how much you loved us, but how you showed us that you loved us…all I had to do was think of the daily signs that have always been there. Looking back on a lifetime of lunches, I realize I always took your time and care in the small things lightly. I knew that you cared when you would get up early to make sure I had a great lunch to take to school with me. I remember the times you would pack an extra-special dessert, or write a little note for me to find at school. I appreciate that daily sacrifice of your time. Even when I was working as a camp counselor, you packed my lunch with a place-mat, extra drink, and a special post-it filled with affirmations, or your illustrated “eye heart ewe” notes.
I never realized what a blessing that was until I was in college and realized packing my own lunch was no damn fun at all.
I also learned how you loved Dad in the little ways, like you did us. Every evening packing his lunch with special things you know he loves is something I will do for my husband, but I draw the line at wax paper place-mat creations.
To say I was a creative child would be an understatement. I can’t imagine it was easy raising such a weirdo. You always encouraged me to play dress up, create different characters, different lives, and never failed to play the same games of house over and over again. I always knew I could count on seeing your face in the crowd at my performances– whether it was in Canaan Valley directing the “little girls” in my talent shows, cheering competitions (I’m still pissed at that women who got smart with you about resting your leg on the chair when you were going through chemo. Twenty five year old Jordan would probably have thrown down.), band concerts, violin performances (I’m still sorry you had to listen to me screech out hot cross buns 21093890 times), dance recitals, church plays, or under any of the bright lights in the many venues I have had the opportunity to perform.
You have been there cheering me on since I can remember, and I know you will continue to cheer me on no matter what stage God sends me to next.
I am so grateful for a Mom who supports me and understands the importance of being involved in my life, while allowing me to flourish creatively is amazing.
Now also seems like as good an opportunity as any to thank you for giving me the gift of performing. Some of my earliest memories are of you reading to me each night, and doing the most amazing voices to bring the pages to life.
Thank you for sitting on the couch with me when I was feverish, and never objecting to rewinding the peach picking scene in Oklahoma so I could hear you imitate Gertie’s cackle laugh one more time.
Thank you for always letting me watch you do your makeup from the lid of your toilet, passing me the brushes when you were finished. I’ll never forget the softness of their touch, or how they always smelled like you.
Thank you for never telling me it was super weird that I was obsessed with deodorant by age 5, and always letting me think I was absolutely applying it…when in truth you were just tapping me with the lid on so I could be more like you. (Boop Boop!)
Thank you, for never saying “no” when I asked to play hair salon in the car. For always reclining your seat into my lap so that I could avoid the boredom of the back roads of West Virginia in the best way possible—by playing pretend with you.
Thank you for teaching me the secrets to baking the perfect crust. Even if the selfish reason behind my finally asking to learn was entering a baking contest in home economics. I regret not asking to learn from you sooner.
Thank you for the gift of strength. Watching you fight and win the battle against cancer in high school is something I will never forget. You never once complained, never missed a cheering competition, and never failed to comfort us regardless of the physical and emotional trials that chemotherapy and radiation put on your physical body.
Your unwavering faith in God and family are just a small part of the large person you are.
Thank you for making sure we had mom and daughter dates, a tradition I fully intend to continue with you as a wife, and as a mom myself someday. There is nobody I’d rather share a Chubby Burger with at The Blue Moon on the terrace.
Your sense of adventure is overwhelming. Thank you for always being up for anything, and everything. Whether that meant late night adventures for donuts after a family wedding, exploring open houses we have no intention of moving into, last minute road trips, midnight movies, or heading to Costco after church for samples and toilet paper– I know that you’re game for whatever comes next, always.
Because of you I grew up knowing it was okay to be flexible, and it was always more fun to take the road less traveled (literally, I think you’ve taken me on every back road possible) than to stick with what I know.
Thank you for always knowing I needed a second hug with you moved me in and out, and in and out, and in and out, and in and out of my dorms in college for RA training. I may forget crying tears when you drove away silently in my room. However, I know I’ll never forget knowing you would walk back down the hallway before you finally left, to give me one last squeeze and kiss.
Thank you for encouraging my friendships with others, and teaching me what friendship looks and especially for teaching me what it doesn’t look like.
Thanks for never letting me buy jeans with a waist so low rise that my “pubes show”. All of our dressing room arguments taught me that modesty and moderation are very important. Because of you, I never felt like I needed to expose my body for attention from anyone.
You taught me that my self-worth was not wrapped in jeans from Abercrombie and Fitch, but in my actions and kindnesses to others.
Thank you for never getting too cross with me when my report cards constantly said, “Talks too much.” We both know that being vaccinated with a Victrola needle came 100% from your fearless social prowess. Because of you, I can make friends in any situation.
Over the years, you have helped me grow and mature into the woman I am today. You have given me room to explore and experience things on my own. But, you have also cared enough to set up boundaries with my best interest in mind.
Thank you for being my personal chauffeur for the first seventeen years of my life. Never saying I couldn’t drive when I had my learner’s permit, and forcing me to become amazing at parallel parking. My husband should really thank you for this too, because I’m still an amazing parallel parking Princess, and he can’t do it at all!
Thank you for teaching me the value of books. Spending summer afternoons at the library and letting me read after I probably should have been asleep in bed. Thank you for never saying no to my obsession and cravings for new reading material. You still have the best voices for witches, wizards, dragons, grandmas, and Hagrid EVER.
I could list millions of other things that I am endlessly thankful for, but I know that you know how appreciated and loved you are. Today, as well as all of the days, I am blessed to have you beside me. You taught me by leading as the example, and I hope that one day others feel my kindness and congeniality as much as others do, yours.
Did you enjoy this post? Share with your friends, and let me know in the comments below! If you’d like to read the letter to my sweet Ese (my Dad!) on my wedding day, let me know for Father’s Day.