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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

A Letter to My Mother on her 60th Birthday

Today is my mom's birthday. Anyone who reads my blog knows what an amazing person my mother really is. Since I gave birth, she has literally put her life on hold to help me and take care of my baby. I have spent the past couple of weeks trying to come up with something to do for her on her 60th birthday to thank her for all she has done and show her how much I love her. What I ended up doing was really quite simple. Since I can't go back home to celebrate this special day with her, I called the Red Ribbon, her favorite bakeshop in the Philippines and I ordered 2 designed cakes for her. Then I sent her a package, simple gifts that she will appreciate and I told my brother to buy her a bouquet of flowers and "lechon" (suckling roasted pig), it's the national dish in our country. Then I coordinated with my dad to make a special surprise birthday party for her. But what I really wanted to do was to thank her personally. None of those things really do that. So I decided to go "old school" and sit down and write her out a letter. I think it gets my point across better than anything I could have spent money on. I thought you all might enjoy reading it:

Dear Mom,

I have been trying to think of a way to say "thank you" that can somehow convey how I truly feel about you virtually putting your life on hold for me. The words don't do it justice. I could tell you how much I love you and what an amazing mother you are to me, but that seems like it has been said before. I could try and explain what it means to me to have a mother who is my best friend and confidant in life but it feels like a bad Hallmark card. The words feel too empty because it is not through words that you show me love and teach me how to be a better person. It is through your actions. The way that you love me and my son makes us better people by the mere fact that we get to be around you to experience it.

Maybe it is because I am fully immersed in this parenthood thing, or maybe it is because I cannot tell you how much I miss you on your birthday. If it would have been possible I would have come flying to celebrate this special day with you. For some reason I find myself at a point where I look back on ALL of that actions and decisions you have made over the course of being my mother and I marvel at how you have done it all with such grace and dignity. You would say that you have made mistakes. And you have. We all have and we all will. In fact it is through THOSE times that have shown the true grace and dignity of who you are. You make it all seem so easy. And perhaps before I was trying to trudge through it myself, I thought it WAS easy. But being a parent isn't easy, and doing right by your children is a life-long, full time job. And here I am, I need you now as my mother perhaps more than ever. And you are still here. Still parenting me, and stepping up to help parent my own son.

Now I am a mother, and I now know exactly how you felt. I understand the exhaustion, the worries, sacrifices and I understand something else that I never did before, the love that a mother has for her children is the most powerful, protective, caring, emotional, sacrificing love that will ever exist on this earth.

In a lifetime I will never find another, who will love me as unconditionally as you have. I am truly blessed to not only have you as my mother but a soulmate. One who can see through my smile to know I am hurting. Who will do just about anything to see me happy, even if it means keeping silent whilst performing little deeds in the background. One whose fervent prayers have kept me safe from harm or sickness. I have so much to learn from you. I am always in awe when I witness your generosity, and your kindness to those in need.

"Thank you" will never be sufficient. What I hope WILL be is the promise that I am taking in all that you are and all that you do, and I am tucking it away inside of me to pull on when I need it. If I can be HALF the mother to my own son that you have been to me, and if when he reach adulthood he can feel HALF the love and acceptance and guidance that I have, then and only then will I feel as though I have "thanked you" properly. I cannot tell you how lucky we are to have you in our lives. Zander, Geir and I are all going to be better people because of you. You mean more to us than I could ever tell you. We all love you with all of our hearts and souls and wish you the best birthday in the world! Happy 60th Birthday Mommy!

Your daughter,

Shelley





































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