This is for my mom.
Since it's the week after Mother's Day, and I still haven't written a book famous enough to get on Oprah, I'll do the next best thing and dedicate this post to my mom.
There is one thing I know for sure about my parents, and it's this: they have always believed in me.
I was talking to my mom the other day and I told her this fact. It didn't matter what I said I wanted to be when I grew up, and this list includes actor in the High School Musical franchise, writer, model, singer and talk show host. Nothing phased my mom (and dad, but this post is on a theme, okay, so stick with me), she just supported me. Not only did she support me, but I think she honestly believed in me too.
I wanted to model? No problem, she'd take headshots for me in our backyard. A singer? She signed me up for voice lessons. A writer? Well, she still supports this one every day by sending me emails with links for places to submit my writing, reading and sharing all my blogs and always commenting or texting me about them.
I know a lot of people whose parents have dreams for their children's lives, and a lot of the time those dreams look like driving their child into a specific mold or path. They need to go to college at their alma mater, they need to pursue a specific career, they need to marry a specific type of person. But my mom was never like that.
She wanted us to pursue the things that made us happy (and that were safe, positive, constructive things, obviously). She let us know whether or not we went to college didn't matter as much as us pursuing something we cared about, and being financially stable. And no dream was ever too out of reach for us in her eyes.
When Oprah was still on, and I was still a mere tween, she used to tell me that when I made it on Oprah one day to talk about all the best-selling books that I'd written, I just needed to mention her and that would be enough. I know she meant it too, I know she believed (and still believes) that I am 100% fully capable of accomplishing anything. I'm just so thankful for that. Now, she just plans out the places we'll travel on my book tour.
My mom is just like that, she always shows up for you in the right way at the right time. A few years ago I was sick with the flu right after Christmas and everyone I knew in Chattanooga was still out of town for the holiday. Despite my weak attempts to tell her I was totally fine taking care of myself, and I could definitely just use Postmates for food, medicine and Lysol, she drove the two hours to my place. She deep cleaned my entire apartment (to a level I am physically not capable of reaching), cooked soup in my Instant Pot, and stocked my pantry with saltines, ginger ale and Gatorade while I lay helplessly in bed 99% of the time.
Even when I had COVID this year, even though I was sick and quarantined with a highly infections, dangerous, pandemic-level disease, I had to talk her out of coming to take care of me. That's just who she is. She's not one for lengthy birthday cards or effusive declarations of love, she'll just show up for you and take care of you -- which really says it all. And she's not just like that for her children or family, she's like that for everyone she knows.
I have often heard that it only takes one person to believe in you for you to really succeed in life. Quotes like this one below are a familiar refrain -
My mom is that one person for me.
She's probably the first person (or one of the first people) who will read this blog post. She's the best mom I could've hoped for, and I just wanted to share that with the world.
It's often said that you can't choose your parents. If I could, though, I would still choose mine.
Happy (week after) Mother's Day.
Until next time.