Today, I am thankful for my mother.
She wasn’t the mother I thought I wanted, but she was definitely the mother that I needed.
I thought I wanted the mother who had warm cookies cooling on a cooling rack as I walked in the door from school each afternoon. I thought I wanted the mother who sewed matching dresses (think The Sound of Music minus the drapes). I thought I wanted the mother who took me shopping at the most stylish stores.
Instead, I got a mother who taught me that all people have reasons for being the way they are, and that I could be understanding and accepting, no matter what. I got the mother who, when she was too ill to leave her bed, spent hours on the phone speaking messages of hope and faith to others in similar situations. I got the mother who showed me that faith and family came first, above worldly accolades or any external successes. I got the mother who sang, beautifully and magically. I got the mother who taught me my way around the kitchen, how to load a dishwasher, and how to piece a quilt–skills I am now passing on to another generation.
And I am grateful. I am grateful not only for what she did–but for who she was (and is), and most importantly for the person she has allowed me to be.