Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!

Just last week, on a particularly crummy day when I was struggling to understand my role as a stepmom, my Mom reminded me that being a parent is extremely challenging and all too often, thankless.

For years throughout our childhood, and particularly during the teenage years, we take and take and take from our Moms (and our Dads too), without realizing the hundreds of small sacrifices they are making for us.

Fortunately, it is when we become adults (and sometimes parents ourselves) that we can finally begin to understand and appreciate everything our parents have done for us.  And on days like today – Mother’s Day – I often try to express just how much I love and appreciate my own Mom – although really there are no words that can perfect explain it.

My Mama, always there for me.

My Mama, always there for me.

For the last 35 years my Mom has loved me hard.  She’s laughed with me, scolded me, cuddled me, cried for me, worried about me, gave advice to me, and just been there for me every step of the way.  She’s been the best role model, the best source of support, and now, I am so lucky to say, she’s my best friend.

My mom knows me like no one else.  She knows when I need her (like the time when I was having a particularly bad day and she showed up at my house out of the blue to have a girls day).  She knows when I need a hug, when I need a shoulder to cry on, or when I’m better off to figure things out on my own.

Through all the stages, my Mom has been my biggest cheerleader.  She’s made sure I’ve had every opportunity in life and I am sure she often put her own desires aside to make sure I could have mine (like all those years she hurried home from work to make sure she could get me to dance class on time.  Oh, how I loved those dance classes!) I never lacked for anything and I still don’t.  When life gets tough, Mom’s wise enough to let me struggle but when I really need her, she’s there in a heartbeat to help however she can.

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I like to think I was a pretty “easy” teenager.  I always called to let my parents know where I was and who I was with.  I stayed out of trouble and tried hard in school.  But I know there were moments where I took my parents’ for granted.  Where I screamed “I hate you” when they wouldn’t allow me to do sometthing and slammed my bedroom door as hard as I could.  Oh, if only I had known then what I know now…

Now I know that I have the best Mom EVER (and Dad too, but in celebration of Mother’s Day we’ll just stick with Mom for now).  Now I know that I can never say thank you enough for the countless times that she’s put me first, for making me believe in myself and in the idea that I can do anything, and for loving me so hard.  Now I know that although my life has been blessed with so many wonderful friends, none of them will be a true friend like my Mom.  She “gets” me like no one else ever will and I am so proud to be just like her.

I’m not sure if other women love spending time with their Mom as much as I do but no matter the occasion, I absolutely love having my Mom with me throughout all of life’s experiences.  One of my favourite things to do with her is to go on little mini-holidays together.  For instance, I was thrilled to have her join my girlfriends and I on our trip to Toronto for my bachelorette party. My Mom was such a good sport and it meant everything to me to have her there.  A few years ago, we took a weekend trip together to Bracebridge to visit my old university roommate.  One of the best parts of that weekend was the car trip together – just talking about everything under the sun and having many laughs and silly moments along the way.  Other times, when Mom makes the trip up to Timmins to see me, we enjoy a lovely day of shopping and lunch, and just spending quality time.  Any time spent with my Mom is always so good for my soul.  She’s the best kind of company.  In fact, I always say that I am one of those people who could live right next door to my Mom and be perfectly happy for the rest of my life and it’s true (Although not sure what my husband would think of that…. )

In Toronto for my bachelorette weekend.

In Toronto for my bachelorette weekend.

I could go on forever about all of the things that make my Mom so amazing but as I mentioned earlier, no amount of words can precisely explain just how deeply I love her.  Mom, you are everything to me and I can never thank you enough for being the best Mom and the best friend a girl could ever ask for.  Happy Mother’s Day!  I love you.

 

Just a few of my favourites…..

At the pumpkin patch.

At the pumpkin patch.

Mom was with my every step of the way during my wedding planning.  I wouldn't have had it any other way!

Mom was with my every step of the way during my wedding planning. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

Mom & Dad took us all on a trip to Wonderland - here's me, Mom, and Mariah ready for the 3D movie.

Mom & Dad took us all on a trip to Wonderland – here’s me, Mom, and Mariah ready for the 3D movie.

Mom was such a trooper when she came with me to see the Backstreet Boys & New Kids!

Mom was such a trooper when she came with me to see the Backstreet Boys & New Kids!

My pretty Mom with some mums.  Bracebridge trip.

My pretty Mom with some mums. Bracebridge trip.

Fun day at the Pumpkin Patch with the girls and the grandkids.

Fun day at the Pumpkin Patch with the girls and the grandkids.

Watching my Mom become a Grandma has been so amazing.

Watching my Mom become a Grandma has been so amazing.

Love her silly and fun loving attitude.  She makes me laugh so much!

Love her silly and fun loving attitude. She makes me laugh so much!

The early days.

The early days.

I love you to infinity and beyond!

I love you to infinity and beyond!

To My Dad, on Father’s Day

Dear Dad,

In honour of Father’s Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly share just how much you mean to me.  Although, I often express myself better in writing, I still struggle to find the words to describe just how special you are.

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Your gentle, easygoing nature makes people of all ages love to be around you.  You’re quiet when you need to be, wise when you need to be, and funny when you need to be.  You’re an intelligent man that I look up to very much.

As the years have passed, I have watched you work endlessly for your family and for this I am eternally grateful. You were a dedicated worker and easily gained the admiration and respect of your co-workers.  You volunteer for your community and those who know you, know they can count on you. No matter, what members of the family have needed you, you’ve pushed your own wants and needs aside to be there.  From helping Mike through the most difficult time in his life – to being there every step of the way for Grandma and Grandpa as they aged – to endless home renovations and car repairs – you are always, always there when someone needs a helping hand.  Please know that your family appreciates this very, very much and I hope that I will never take it for granted.

DSC07689Another thing I love about you, Dad, is how you have become one of the most amazing grandfathers I have ever seen. Children have always loved you – they flock to you for your child-at-heart, entertaining ways.  Whether it’s hunting monkeys, trips to the park, or playing game after game of Hello Kitty Trouble, my children and nieces know they can count on G-pa for hours of fun.  You go out of your way to make sure they have everything they could need or want, and for this, I thank you, not only on their behalf, but also on mine.  Watching you as a grandfather is both admirable and amazing.

Not only are you a wonderful grandfather, I have also been blessed to have you as my role model for what a good husband truly should be. Mom once told me that she knew you were the one because of the gentle, kind way you spoke to her from the very beginning.  I am so proud to say that you are still this way.  You have always been there for Mom, just like you have for the rest of us.  You have stayed committed and by her side through all the ups and downs, and this means the world to me.  Thank you for teaching me how a woman should be treated, for always respecting Mom, and for being the perfect role model in your role as a husband.

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But most of all, Dad, I want to thank you for being the world’s best Dad.  I don’t know how I got so lucky to be born to such amazing parents.  There really are no words for how much you and Mom mean to me and for how thankful for everything you guys have done for me and our family.

Not many women can say that there Dad is one of their best and most dearest friends, but I definitely can, and am proud to say it.  I know that whenever we spend time together, it will be enjoyable, and filled with laughter and precious memories.  Now that I am grown, there aren’t many people I’d rather spend time with, than you.  Whether it’s camping, taking trips, or just spending time with family, I love it when we are together and look forward to making many more memories with you.

Of course, one of my most special memories with you, happened a couple of years ago when you walked me down the aisle on my wedding day.  It was a moment I had dreamed of for years, and as the last-second emotions and jitters set in, I had you by my side to take my arm and steady me.  You were my rock that day, just like you always have been.  Because you were by my side, I was able to feel nothing but calmness and joy as I walked down that aisle.  I couldn’t have done it without you.

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So, today, and every day, I want you to know how much I respect, admire, and love you.  I am truly honoured to have such a wonderful, loving, and supportive man to call my Dad.

With all my love,

Kelly  xoxo