"Ain’t a woman alive that can take my mommas place."
I’m grateful for you everyday, in ways that I may not know how to show you but I hope to continue to make you proud.
Before we locked eyes on August 8, 1994, we got to know each other for 9 months. I realized how big your heart is, you realized how much I can move. You said when I was born, my big eyes just looked around the room- maybe it was a sign I was meant to see the world. As I got to know you, I realized how much you did for others. You’re the oldest of 10 kids, so you were a mother in a way before me & Juan came along. You know how to be responsible for others, how to be selfless, and how to make something out of nothing. You have been an example of how to have Faith in God, how to love unconditionally, and how to provide for your tribe. I still tear up at the thought of the conversation me & grandma had that day I was leaving for work and she told me I reminded her of you, always on the go and making things happen. I love you.
You know I believe in giving people their flowers while they can smell them. And as many birthday, Mother’s Day, Wedding Anniversary, etc. cards I’ve written over the years, I pray these words last forever in your heart.
On most days, I don’t know what I did to deserve you. Neither one of us are perfect, and we don’t know everything about each other- but I’m grateful for your patience with me over the years. No matter how many times you were right, how many things you are willing to teach me, and how many times I do things out of the ordinary, you still love me unconditionally.
I don’t know how life was for you before me & Juan came along. I always wished I could go back in time & be your friend, or at least a fly on the wall but none of that would explain our connection now. Somehow your instincts always knows when I’m up to something; I don’t know how many more times you’ll take a deep breath after my latest adventure, how many times I’ll call you crying, or how many more times I’ll ask you to pray for me. Thank you for always praying for me. I don’t think I’d get this far in my life without your prayers.
Leading by Example
My favorite memory to share with strangers about you is when you went back to school when I was young. You went for your Master’s Degree, and I remember going to classes with you, going to your graduation, and seeing you develop as an Educator. I always tell people I tip my hat off to you for teaching children/ adults with special needs- that job isn’t easy. I’ve seen you in the classroom, been on the phone with you, and see how heavy the job is for you. I look forward to the day I can tell you to retire, and tour the world with me.
Being that you’ve done all of that for our family, I felt no other option but to follow your footsteps and pursue my education. I still remember our conversation in Mrs. Gleason’s office (my awesome high school guidance counselor)-you both talking me out of going to the Army for college. I didn’t know what I wanted then other than getting away from the dysfunction I grew up in. I remember the beginning of my college journey at Johnson & Wales University, being in the Financial Aid office and the counselor said the loan was approved. You cried and thanked God in the same breath. I knew then, I couldn’t let you down.
You’ve been a lighthouse in the darkness. You of all people know my potential and you push me to it. You’ve been my first teacher, friend, and cheerleader. Watching you as a grandmother shows me how much more love you have to give & I didn't know that was possible. I’m grateful for your life and thankful for all that you do.