I originally just wanted to write you a private note.
But then I decided I wanted the whole world to know.
As many people as possible.
All of the good that you have done for me and the joy and beauty you have brought, instilled, nurtured and tended in my life: all that which one can never ask for or expect, but for which their lives have been immeasurably blessed.
You taught me to be independent, to not give up in the face of adversity or people saying no.
You taught me it’s okay to be flexible and to follow my dreams, no matter what obscure corners they may lead to.
You taught me to be kind and have empathy on those around me.
You taught me to care for all of God’s creatures and to see beauty in the small things around me, whether it be the blush of a rose or the soft velvet of a rabbit’s ear.
You taught me it’s okay to have spunk and a funky personality: that is perfectly okay to “follow the beat of my very own drum.” You never pushed me to fit any mold or be anything or anyone else but me.
You taught me to laugh.
You taught me to smile and find humor in the flippancies and quirks of life.
You taught me to seek God and have faith, even when I’m not sure of all the answers myself; you demonstrate to me every day the importance of the journey and the search.
You taught me to challenge that which I saw as wrong; you taught me to never be a silent witness in the face of evil.
You taught me to be a citizen of the whole world, and not just the small corner I happen to call home.
You taught me to care for others.
You taught me to struggle past the status quo, even when it hurts; you taught me to push myself beyond ordinary to truly realize the beauty and potential of God’s creation in me.
You taught me the importance of honesty.
You personified integrity and purpose in all of your actions.
You taught me to work hard.
You taught me the beauty of languages and the opportunities that await us when we cross beyond the borders of our comfort.
You taught me humility.
You taught and encouraged in me a sense of adventure; you let me spread my wings to soar and perhaps to fall even when your own heart was probably clenched with fear.
You taught me the importance of being kind to all people and reminding them how special they are.
You taught me someone’s station, race, or place in life does not determine the colour of their heartbeats.
You never, ever, ever taught me any hint of racism, sexism, religion-ism…you taught me the beauty of an open mind and an accepting heart.
You breathed to life in me from the flickering spark of possibility and inherited genes a fighting spirit that will never say die, a spirit that drives me forward each day.
You taught me to be the passionate, strong-willed and fanciful creature that I am, for I follow in your footsteps; the cold reality of the ground may not always bind us, but my God how the sear of heaven’s sun tinges and inflames our souls.
You taught me loyalty.
You taught me the importance of our roots; the Families we always return to and the heritages we carry forward into the future.
You taught…me to be me. Everything that is good; everything that is right; everything that you admire in me and seek to encourage; I tell you that this comes from you. A child is the product of her parents and the values they instill in her; without your basis and foundation, I could never be half of what I am today, and for that I Thank You and bless your footsteps; you have given me such a multitude, abundance and bounty of gifts such as I can never hope to repay.
My Whole Heart
Momma, you are a joy. My life has been so rich and beautiful, and I have been so loved and treasured, because you are my Mom. I wish there was a better phrase in English to express the kind of love I have for you, but I love you, so dearly. Happy Birthday Momma.