"How did you do it, Mom? How did you know how to be such a good mom?"
"I didn't," you replied, "I just loved you with all my heart."
I look at my 3-week-old daughter and remind myself of when you told me this years ago. Every time she coos, cries and coughs, every time she sleeps, stretches and smiles, I remind myself of this.
And I tell her, "I don't know how to be a perfect mom, my angel, but I promise to love you with all my heart."
I think to myself, I hope that is enough. And then I think about how I feel towards you, Mom, and I know that it will be more than enough.
All daughters hear it many times: "You'll understand when you're a mom one day." I believed that to be true, but I didn't expect to understand so quickly and so clearly.
As much as I want to hug and squeeze my daughter all day and night, I find myself wanting to hug and squeeze you just as much, Mom. I constantly hear my heart whispering, "Thank you, Mom," "I am so sorry, Mom," and now more than ever—"I love you, Mom."
Thank you, Mom.
Thank you for holding me close to your chest to snuggle so much that I still crave your scent. It brings happy tears to my eyes when I pick up my baby after you've left our home and she smells the same way I remember you smelling when I was a little girl.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of family and friendship. I've watched you be the rock that holds our family together with love, honesty, respect and laughter, no matter where in the world each of us is living. And I've watched you be there for friends and family in need, as well as graciously and gratefully accepting help yourself when you needed it.
Thank you for encouraging me to leave home and see the world, even though I know it must have been so hard for you to watch me do. (I could only imagine how this would feel now that I'm a mama myself.)
I've watched you fight back tears as you've waved goodbye so many times, knowing you were allowing me to gain independence, experience, and new perspectives on life that ultimately led me to appreciate where I come from even more.
Thank you for showing me how to be a partner and a mother and still go after my own personal dreams. I've watched you set goals and then rise and fall as you take the path toward achieving them.
I've seen you be a strong, independent woman who recognizes her own needs and works hard to make sure they are met, even if people on the outside don't understand. Because of you, I know that doing so isn't selfish; it is necessary for your health and happiness. And when you are healthy and happy, your family is, too.
Thank you for teaching me good manners and how to keep a clean and warm home. I now know that was far from easy.
Thank you for teaching me how to prepare a meal for company and how to dress properly for certain occasions.
Thank you for letting me be myself, even when I know it must've felt like I was straying from you.
Thank you for picking up the phone every single time I call you.
Thank you for teaching me how to apologize to others and how to accept the ones I receive.
I always felt your love, no matter where I was or what I was doing. It was your love that led me to where I am today, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
And so, because of you, I know how to do it. I know how to be a good mom just like you are. Thank you, Mom, for all of this.
And I thank the heavens above that my little girl has you as a grandmother.