Two years ago I wrote a Little Love Story about my Momma for Mother’s Day. I had secretly stolen her wedding dress and had Jacob photograph me in it as a gift for her. The older I got, the more I realized how much I relied on her and my thankfulness for her grew daily. I thought I had reached the peak of my thankfulness for her, my love for her, when I posted this story. I thought, “I ‘get it’ now. My mom is amazing and I couldn’t do life without her.” I had no idea then how becoming a mommy myself would deepen my thankfulness and love for her – or how it would give me a small taste of her love and sacrifice for me.
A few months ago I wrote her this letter to try to put into words how much more thankful I was for her now that I understood more about her deep love for me.
I was thinking today about how much you’ve been there for me in the last few months… And then I realized that you’ve always been there, more than I even understand.
We always focus on the fact that Daddy carried me in the hospital after I was born, but weren’t you the one that carried me for 9 months before that? You were the one that had labored all night to bring me into the world. In that hospital room on that October 6th morning you were there.
In the middle of the night when I cried out for milk or maybe just snuggles, you were there. You held me and fed me and kissed my cheeks and said, “I love you so much”.
When I had my first dance recital at Christmastime in 4th grade you were there. You put curlers in my hair and drove me to downtown Fresno and I felt special because it was just the two of us. I remember that so well.
You were there the night I walked through the front door of our house with tears in my eyes because I had just ended a relationship. You hugged me in the dining room while I cried and you didn’t say anything… But you were there.
On a Saturday in October you showed up at my door ready to “walk to Timbuktu” so that we could meet my sweet little Baby Bear soon. Over the next 5 days we talked and walked and got our nails done and drank coffee. It was so special to have you there for those last few days of my pregnancy.
And then on October 22nd, as we drove to the hospital because I hadn’t felt baby move, you prayed while I cried. You asked God to give me peace and also that baby would give me a little kick of reassurance. Sure enough, I almost instantly felt a little jump in my tummy. I don’t know what I would have done that night if you hadn’t been there.
The night I became a mommy you watched as I labored and pushed and finally welcomed my sweet baby into the world. You witnessed the moment that the nurse flipped baby over and I announced, “It’s a GIRL!” You saw, through tears, the moment I met my little Lilah Rae for the first time – the moment my life changed forever.
In that hospital room on that October 23rd evening you were there.
You were there for the weeks that followed, when I cried because time was going to fast, to tell me it was okay to hold my little Lilah as much as I wanted, to give me reassurance as I walked this new, mysterious path of being a mommy. You were there when I cried on the bed because I loved her too much. You laughed with me when I worried about her going to college. You showed me how to wrap her up and make her cozy. You were there to sing happy birthday to her and eat bundt cake on her 1 week birthday.
You were there for her first thanksgiving and Christmas – her first smiles and her first bath. You were there the first time I had to leave her… I couldn’t have left her with anyone but you. You were there for almost her entire first 2 months of life. By being there for her, you were there for me.
You have been there for me in all of these moments and so many more. It’s easy to be sad when you’re not here, but like you reminded me in a note you wrote to me – we’ve been immeasurably blessed to have so much time together… “How could I be ungrateful?”
So, thank you. Thank you for being there from the moment I was born to today. Thank you for caring for me and praying for me over the last 27 years. (You were pregnant with me at this time 27 years ago.) Thank you for loving me by loving my girl. Thank you for teaching me that being the best mommy means lots of snuggling and even more praying. More than anything, thank you for showing me the depth of our Father’s love by loving me so deeply. Your love for me is beautiful but your love for Him is even more so.
I love you, Momma. Thank you for being there.
After writing down these words I realized that I had never truly thanked her. I had never shared those sweet memories with her. And as I started writing, I couldn’t stop. There were too many stories about her selfless love. It felt overwhelming to try to put it all down on paper, but I am so glad I did.
If you’re momma is still in your life, tell her you love her. But more than that, tell her you’re thankful for her and give specific examples of times that were special to you. Write it down, seal it with a kiss, and get that letter to her. It will mean so much.
Happy Mother’s Day, friends.