By jelia Hepner

Paraglide

Mother, let me first say that I love you. Without you, I could not have made it this far. Ever since I was little you have been my she-ro and someone I’ve always looked up to. You helped me develop into the successful person I am, and I thank you for that. As an adult watching my own children grow up, I often sit and reflect on my own childhood.

Growing up I did not understand your reasoning behind the choices you made. At times, as an adolescent, I felt the punishment I received was because you did not love me or — in my mind — you did not want me to be happy. As time passed and I grew older into a teenager, I felt you did understand me at times. Being a teenager, I thought I knew everything there is to know about life. I could not understand why I was unable to stay out late with certain kids or why you would question my whereabouts.

Yet you came to every game I played in, and you were the one cheering the loudest at every event.

You always helped me anytime I needed help with homework — even with last minute projects I had to do.

You taught me how to ride a bike, how to drive, took care of me while being sick and you even held me as I cried during my first heartbreak.

Once you told me, “As long as you have self-confidence and know that you are a queen, nobody can every tear you down.”

Now looking back, watching and reflecting on all those years, I see your love. I see why you made certain decisions. I see why you did not permit me to do certain things. I notice the sacrifices you made just so I would be able to experience a good life, and I see it clearly.

I apologize for the headaches, arguments and, at times, making your life more difficult than it had to be — especially as a single mother. I see how hard you worked.

I always had food on the table, clothes on my back and love waiting for me every day at home.

Unfortunately, every child does not get the opportunity to have a mother like that. Therefore, I am grateful.

Mother’s Day should not be celebrated just one day but for a whole year. This letter is to say thank you, and I clearly understand the foundation of your love as a mother.

Before you leave this earth, I just want you to see my open letter.