dear mama

thank you for your quiet strength and for teaching me how to love unconditionally, with my whole heart, and with no fear. you taught me that there is an all-consuming power in love, a power that is greater than any sadness, anxiety, or anything in the world that can come against me.
i hope you take the time to celebrate yourself, all your sacrifices, and the lives that you’ve nurtured and shaped. i hope you find the time to treat yourself to little moments of bliss, and create opportunities to be selfish and greedy with what brings you joy. smile, laugh, sigh in contentment, do a happy dance, and revel in the life that you have been so lucky to live.
those wild days when the wind was warm and whipping over the water, swirling around you, carrying the smell of spring flowers and tiny white blossoms that got tangled in your hair. those are the memories I will hold close to my heart. that is how I will always remember you.
i know i don't say it as often as i should, but you're my everything. everything i know is good in the world and everything i hope to be. you're my moral compass, my fiercest defender, and my safe harbour. i am comforted by the constancy of your love and emboldened by your belief in my ability to achieve anything, do anything, be anything. i am who you made me, mom, and i am wildly proud to be yours.
thank you for being there for me, all the years of my life; for being patient with me and supporting every decision I make, both good and...not so good. 
thank you for forgiving me the time I had a party at the house while you were away on a trip with dad, and that time you helped me get your car back after it was towed from a no parking street downtown.  
remember that time everyone else was busy so you and I went on a trip to new york city because we wanted to throw caution to the wind, be spontaneous, and do whatever we wanted? i cherish that time i got to spend with you, and i look forward to all the adventures the future has in store for us.
thank you for making the world's best sandwiches, and for always managing to dress a salad perfectly. i don't know how you do it.
thank you for showing me what it means to embody courage and strengths in times of need. you are the epitome of resiliency and i will strive to be more like you every single day. 
thank you for being strong but also light, for illuminating a room with your caring and lively presence.