Written by Jen Valu
Dear Mom: I’m Sorry, Thank You…and You’re Totally Amazing
I want to start this letter to you with an apology. I often tortured you as a teenager. How could I be so mean to the sweetest, most kind, loving and giving mother a girl could ask for. I was insensitive and incredibly mean to you at times. I remember purposely making you cry, telling you I hated you over and over again. I wish with all of my being that I could take back those hateful words and replace them with what I was really feeling at the time: “I’m miserable. I’m depressed. I’m hormonal. I’m bored with life. I want to be somewhere else. I’m not happy and I don’t know how to handle anything right now, I feel out of control”. But instead, I turned my anger and frustration at life onto you, the one person who devoted her life to keeping me and my sister fed, keeping us safe, and most importantly – loving us unconditionally. I’ve apologized for this behavior later in life, but again mom…I’m so sorry and I hope I’ve made it up to you since.
Now that I’m a mother of two, one being a little girl, I cringe when I fast-forward ahead 10 years. Is that what my future will hold as well? Now she is only 4, and full of love. “You’re my best friend, mommy”. “You make my heart so happy”. “I love being with you, I always miss you when I’m at school”. “I wish you could snuggle with me ALL night”. How do I make sure the transformation never happens from the sweetest little girl to a miserable teen full of angst like her mommy? I don’t think you could have done anything differently, you did everything right.
Moving on…I’m writing this letter to also say THANK YOU mom. Thank you for all the time you devoted to me and my little sister. For how unselfish you always were. For letting us rule the radio stations in the car, for driving us sometimes 20 minutes to a friends’ house. Thank you for making the most incredible meals…so good that my friends were begging to have dinner at our house. For always letting me eat all the leftovers, and accepting my apology when I ate them and it was meant for dinner the next night. Thank you for always having the most comfortable shoulder for me to rest my head on. Thank you for taking me to soccer, to ballet and to too many New Kids on the Block concerts. Thank you for laughing when I made fun of your “bumble bee” glasses or how you pronounce “latte” like “la- tey”. Thank you for always being so encouraging when it came to the clarinet. Tryouts upon tryouts, concerts, rehearsals every Saturday morning. You made sure I never missed one. Thank you for driving us to all of the colleges and tours, and allowing us the means to go to the schools we desired.
Most of all, thank you for showing me the most unconditional love. Thank you for loving me even when I didn’t deserve it. Thank you for everything.
Before I end this letter I need to give you some much needed praise. I’m not sure you fully understand just how proud my sister and I are of you. Not only did you take such amazing care of us, but thank you for always taking such special care of dad, especially at the end. When he died 12 years ago, you unwillingly took over his company and with grace, helped it dissolve and eventually close after the worst economic periods (hopefully) in our country’s short history. You managed to pick up the pieces, as painful as that was, and sold our home of 30 years . You moved to a beautiful place by the sea and started a new life. You became strong and independent. You are now the lobster-roll connoisseur. You fell in love again. You are happy.
I love you mom, I’m eternally grateful for you loving me and my little sister so much, unconditionally, through the good and the bad. Thank you for also being the most fun, silly and loving Gaga/Grandma our kids could ask for. Dad sure is proud of you.