My mom, she's awesome.
She may annoy me to no end as only a mother can some days, but at the end of the day, she's an incredible woman, and if I grow to be half the mother she is, my kids will be lucky.
I may annoy her to no end some days, too, but she's still the kind of mom who loves surprising her kids. She called me on Wednesday night and told me she wanted to buy me a class ring for my birthday in June. I didn't get one in high school because I didn't want one since I never wear jewelry and I knew it'd just sit in my jewelry box, but college is different. People actually wear these for many years, and I wanted one, but I didn't know that we'd ever have the money to do it because they are SO not cheap. So the fact that my mom got the brochure in the mail and decided to figure out a way to get me one without even knowing I wanted one just goes to show you how awesome she is.
She is so strong. It would seem weird to anyone for me to say that if they knew all the struggles my mom has faced, but she always gets up and keeps fighting for her kids, for Blake, for the chance at giving us a better life than the one she's had. I think accepting her weaknesses is part of what makes her strong. She's real about it. She's not afraid to let me see her cry. She doesn't pretend like she's got it all together, and as I get older, she confides in me more. She's had to deal with all my health issues, all of Chelsea's issues, and her own health issues on top of a full-time job and Blake all on her own for 13+ years now, and I honestly don't know how she does it. Maybe I'll understand when I have kids.
She is funny. She can make me laugh harder than just about anyone else, the kind of laughing where it's so hard that you can't breathe and tears are rolling down your face. When she's in the right mood, or she knows I'm having a hard day, she will do anything (and I mean ANYTHING) to get me to laugh. As sarcastic and witty as people may find me, they have no clue where I got it from until they meet my mom. In terms of humor, she is me times, like, ten.
She is loving. The way she has taken in Matt and Ryann as if they were her own kids makes me admire her even more. Matt still calls her Mom. When I have kids, I want to be as good as she is at making my kids' friends feel like part of the family. She offered Ryann a place to stay if she ever needed one the second time they met. She's just that good at being motherly.
She is an amazing singer. This is a woman who spent her early 20s in rock bands with a bunch of guys, much to the chagrin of my grandparents. I grew up listening to her sing everything from lullabies to classic rock to Christmas song. I cry every single time I hear her sing "Mary, Did You Know?" and it's because of her that I have the eclectic music tastes that I do. I'd pick '70s and '80s rock over modern stuff any day of the week. I don't think I'd have the passion for music that I do if it weren't for her.
I could go on and on about the wonderful woman that raised me, but instead, I'm going to leave you with a piece of a monologue from one of my all-time favorite TV shows, Gilmore Girls. This is from the daughter, Rory's high school valedictorian speech, and it makes me cry to this day, almost ten years later. It says everything I want to say about my mom.
"But my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the dazzling woman from whom I received...my life's blood...My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn't do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith. As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don't know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her...Thank you, Mom. You are my guidepost for everything."