I always thought I would grow up to be a famous comic book artist. Remember all those super hero drawings I sketched back in middle school? I’m sure you do. A few of them were even frame-worthy. (I think they’re all still under my bed collecting dust.) Once in high school, you and dad suggested that I take some art classes as electives. Thanks for always pushing me to pursue my passions. For a while I was sure I would be the next John Buscema, making millions of dollars to bring Spiderman’s latest adventures to life. I was convinced I would one day call you from my college dorm and officially announce: “I’ve been hired by Stan Lee to work on the next Marvel Comics film. You and dad can go ahead and retire.”
Back then you probably would have replied, “Who’s Stan Lee?”
Somewhere along the way my passions shifted course (that seems to happen a lot with teenagers) and I fell in love with the written word. Because of your support and encouragement, I survived four years of college-level journalism and English courses. (Just barely.) I still remember the overwhelmed expression of excitement on your face when I told you a local magazine was going to publish something I wrote.
The drawing thing just didn’t seem to pan out. I never did become a multi-million dollar artist. That’s too bad because artists really do have a way of capturing things that are beyond words. They have a way of taking the unimaginable and the indescribable and bringing them to life on a canvas, in a sculpture or even in a musical score.
While I may not be able to paint, mold or compose the expression of my love and appreciation, I can do what I do best and somehow attempt to take that love and that level of appreciation and squish it into some sort of verbiage that will span the last 28 years of my life. It’s no small task and I’ll clumsily fumble through this. But, here goes:
Thank you for sacrificing time, money and comforts to invest in my education. Homeschooling is hard work. Private school is expensive. College is even more expensive. Thank you for doing without so that I could do my best to excel.
Thank you for never spoiling me with BMWs or Mercedes like many of my private school classmates. Thank you for teaching me the value of hard work in order to acquire my first car — that white 1992 Ford Taurus. Thank you for teaching me humility. That came in handy the first time I drove it on to campus.
Thank you for the countless times you woke extra early to pack lunches for us before we headed off to school and you headed off to work. (To teach a classroom full of crazy little kids.) Thank you for putting up with our lack of gratitude at the time. Those Pizza Lunchables and Capri Sun drinks were truly the envy of the cool kids table.
Thank you for working long hours with the kids in your classroom before coming home to help your own children with their homework assignments. Thank you for the chili dog and potato chip dinners.
Thank you for the Blockbuster movie rental nights and the family video game tournaments.
Thank you for encouraging us to consume more literature than television. Thank you for the summer reading assignments. Much of my current love for classic literature started in those early days. (I should have given you credit for my A’s in those college Shakespeare courses.)
Thank you for letting us have pillow fights and wrestling matches with dad in the living room floor. Thank you for making us clean up after ourselves.
Thank you for always exhibiting love and faithfulness with dad and for showing us what a Godly marriage looks like.
Thank you for teaching us about Jesus and how to love and follow Him.
Thank you for your patience. We were (and still are) quite a handful.
Thank you for never letting me make excuses for avoiding schoolwork or any difficult endeavor in life.
Thank you for making me get a summer job when I would have rather hung out with friends or fallen asleep in front of the TV every day. Thank you for never giving me gas money if I could pay for it myself. Thank you for teaching me about the value of budgeting money.
Thank you for your gentle love and for your tough love.
Thank you for pushing me to excel at my passions and for never giving up on me. Thank you for praying for every big exam and college final I dreaded. I’m convinced you’re the reason I survived freshman Biology.
Thank you for praying for me when my childhood seizures returned. Thank you for holding me that day as I cried over not being able to eat because of how much I chewed up my tongue during a seizure. Thank you for putting up with my negative outlook on my seizures and my day-to-day frustrations. Thank you for the rides to work when my drivers license was medically suspended for a year.
Thank you for all the Ensure Plus drinks I needed to maintain a healthy weight while I couldn’t eat. Thank you for helping to cover the cost of my medication when the copay costs spiked.
Thank you for always being there, mom. Even when I let you down. Even when I made you cry. Even when I was failing classes and wondering what I would do with my life, you were still there, loving, supporting and encouraging me along the way. Thank you for fighting for me.
Thank you, mom. Thank you for everything.
Happy Mother’s Day.