To Mom (From Your Grad)

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Dear Mom,

Today, I take a break from studying for my finals to write you a Mother’s Day letter. I want to take a moment and thank you, because I am sure that without you I would not be here, packing up my apartment and preparing for graduation.

Today I thought about my eighth-grade graduation ceremony, which concluded with the half mile walk from the middle school to the high school. I see myself, nervous and gangly, unsure of whether to make eye contact with my friend’s older brother when I passed him in the hall. Graduation and the transition that follows always stirs up a complicated pallet of emotions, because graduation is the goal, the finish line—an achievement to take pride in. It is a marker of success. But it is also a marker of change. The life you have just mastered is suddenly behind you, and the horizons before you bare no mark of familiarity or comfort. Then the nervous, gangly 8th grader looked up and saw you waiting for her. That moment marked one of my first personal paradigm shifts, and I think it was in that moment that I came to realize what the word “mother” meant to me.

shadow of a mother and her daughterYou looked at me and smiled a smile I know to be printed on the flesh of my soul. It is a familiar smile, one that appears in my very first memories. It is a smile that has never changed, a smile filled with assurance to bottle up for the days when everything is unsure. That is the greatest gift you have ever given me, Mom, and the least I can do on Mother’s Day is say thank you. Thank you for being there, waiting at the end of the hallway for me. It was a gift which worth I am only realizing now as I face graduation again.

In a few days, I will achieve the goal I have been working towards for four years: I will be a college graduate. Soon there will be a new roof held up by new walls, and new roads taking me to a new job in a new city. But whether I fail or succeed, whether I make a name for myself or feel washed away in the current of a big city, your smile will not change. You will look at me with the same faith, the same assurance, the same love. When the very stars above my head make constellations I don’t recognize, you are constant. Not only do you inspire me to become everything I dream of being, you make me believe I am capable of such achievements.

So here’s to you, Mom. Thank you for your faith in me—from it I have learned to have faith in myself. From you I have built up the courage and strength to face the coming horizon and embrace whatever it may brings.

Don’t forget to thank your own moms today for all that they have done for you and all they will continue to do!

Happy mother’s day,

Your graduate.

To Mom From Your Grad

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