When I was little, my mom told me that one day I would want to leave and go live somewhere else on my own. I told her that I was certain that day would never come, because I loved my mommy and daddy so much. Sure enough, she was right–as always. The day came, and they dropped me off at college. Unfortunately, this will have to be my second Mother’s Day apart from you, because of school.

I wish more than anything that I could be there with you today, but since I cannot, here are a few things I want you to thank you for:

1. For always believing in me.

I have had big dreams from a young age. I bounced around from saying I wanted to be everything from an actress to a doctor, and you always made me feel like I could do whatever I wanted.

2. For never holding it against me when I was wrong.

I will be the first to admit that I was wrong plenty of times. But you taught me to take responsibility for when I was wrong, and we could never be mad at each other for long.

3. For wanting to fight my battles for me.

Thanks for always listening to me rant, and helping me learn how to deal with frustrating people.

4. For teaching me manners.

All of my friends parents used to comment on my manners when I was little. Even at work the other day I was complimented for having such good manners.

5. For showing me what it means to be a good person.

You taught me what it meant to have a big heart, and you continually teach me how to deal with people that try my patience.

6. For supporting me all the way.

You supported me when I was in 4th grade and wanted a guitar, keyboard and drum set, because I was convinced my friends and I were going to start a band. You supported me when I decided I wanted to play basketball and quit dance, even though you wanted me to be a dancer. And you supported me coming to my dream school, instead of staying near home. You have no idea how much that means to me.

7. For sacrificing for me.

I know how much you have sacrificed for me and for my siblings, and I am forever grateful to have a mom that gave up so much to be with us and raise us.

8. For always being there.

Whenever I need you day or night, you are always there. Through finals freak outs and tears shed over boys, you always know how to make me feel better. Even after you had gone to bed the other night, you called me back, because you were worried. And being able to talk things through with you made all the difference.

9. For giving me confidence.

I always think it is funny when you say that you were shy when you were younger, because you and Dad have given me so much confidence. You have built me up and taught me to believe in myself. You have given me the courage to go after what I want, and to have confidence in my actions and decisions.

10. For loving me unconditionally.

Our thing has always been “I love you to the moon and back”, “I love you more.” I love you to the moon and back, Mom.