For many years I never truly understood what being a mom really meant. I looked at my baby pictures and you were always smiling so big. You always had fun activities for us to do and dressed me in frilly little dresses. I was thankful for such a great childhood, but I never knew what you felt in those pictures. I couldn’t. Not yet.
I’ve always known you were the strongest person I know, battling so many things throughout your life. You never once gave up. You always keep going and stay strong.
You worked all day long and came home to fix us dinner each night. Sometimes I complained or selfishly grumbled about things that didn’t really matter. You loved me anyway.
I know you had a lot to do, but I never remember hearing you complain. I do remember hanging little eggs on the trees for Easter. I remember dressing up in your clothes and dancing under an umbrella in the rain. I remember licking your chocolate fudge from a spoon and making cookies. I remember skipping rocks at the lake, trips to the beach and waking up to special birthday decorations. I remember good times.
We fought sometimes as I got older. You just wanted the best for me, at the time I could only see my side. I know I caused your heart to hurt many times. I didn’t know just how much. I couldn’t. Not yet.
Getting ready for prom and graduation and driving away for the first time and heading to college and moving into my own place and getting married. You were there to support me through everything big during those years. You were there with hugs and tissues and help and advice. I was so excited about all the new adventures, I didn’t really notice your tears.
Then, I started my own family. You were there for that too. Supporting, laughing, crying, worrying, and guiding me through it. Each day with my babies I’ve realized more and more what you felt all these years. I look back often and now I know what you went through.
You often told me one day I’d understand. You were right.
Now I know. I know why you stared at me all the time. I know why you encouraged me to do things I didn’t think I could. I know how hard it was to see me grow up. I know how much you love me.
Now I know and now
I love you even more.