Thanks, Momma

Growing up, I loved to hang posters in my room. They were mostly of bands that I loved at the time, setlists I stole off stage after concerts, and pennants from baseball games I had been to. My friends had posters of movie stars, scenery, and athletes (my best friend Evan still talks about the Darryl Strawberry poster that hung above his television). We idolized these figures, these heros of our youth, these giants of our worlds. I looked at my Metallica posters and wanted to be just like them, just like the other kids wanted to be “like Mike”and any other role models we hung on our walls.

I’m older now and don’t hang posters on my closet doors, and my role models have changed somewhat (I still will sell out stadiums across the world as the front man for the biggest band in the world, you guys). I spend less time looking up to those that I want to be like and more time looking up to the people that made me who I am today. I can sit here and tell you about teachers or coaches or friends that have shaped me up until this point, but, shockingly, on this Mother’s Day of 2014, I’m going to tell you about my mom.

My mom spent nearly a decade driving between Bloomington and Indianapolis every day for work because that’s where the work was that would provide best for our family.

I would tell you about the time she missed that one really important swim meet or basketball game or jazz concert of mine, but she didn’t.

She went to Kenya to help set up a new hospital. Twice.

She always respects and support my decisions, and taught me that my choices are my own, but that I also will own up to the consequences of those decisions.Image

She has helped build homes with local nonprofits so that other families and moms may have the stable and comfortable lives she helped provide for us, and that those families deserve.

She opens her heart to anyone and everyone. She is kind, gracious, and appreciative of the people in her life. She taught me to be the same, that to love unconditionally is one of the hardest tasks out there, but one that has the greatest rewards.

She puts up with my dad’s sense of humor. Seriously, that’s no small task.

She is a lover of many thing: good food, strong drinks, music, art, history, the Bible, her three dogs, my sister’s two horses and one dog, and my two cats, travelling, football, basketball. She’s always reading and observing.

She let my sister and me grow up to be ourselves and find our own passions, while teaching us that we always finish what we start.

She is constantly teaching me to be patient, pushing me to find my muses, and encouraging me to do what makes me happy. She supports my hobbies, and is even a friend of Bald & Bearded.

She is a cancer survivor, and provides support and help to other women fighting this disease. She’s a symbol of strength, attitude, faith, and perseverance to all who meet her. She’s LITERALLY an angel.

She has a big smile, a bigger laugh, and an even bigger heart. And she’s the reason I’m here today. So, mom, thanks for, ya know, everything. Thank you for being a constant pillar for me to lean on. Thank you for letting me be me. Thank you for sitting next to me on the patio while I listen to crappy folk music and write this post. Happy Mother’s Day to you. You deserve it.

Love you.

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