Over the past year, I’ve thought a lot about how ephemeral life is and how it can be lost so quickly. It is this which drives me to prioritize what I do in the short time I have on this earth. Today, while I was rummaging through a bunch of my stale belongings, I happened upon a stack of cards. Not playing cards, but loving cards; cards sent to me by family and friends during birthdays, holidays, and other such events. As I thumbed through them I felt loved, love and guilt. Guilt?! Yes guilt, because you see, I haven’t reciprocated to even one of the givers of those cards. I faithfully file them away and then forget about them for a time, until I happen upon them again as I did today.
Well, even though it is late at night and I have work in the morning, it’s the least I could do to stay up for an hour or so to write my thanks for those who have faithfully supported me in my life endeavors. The problem I’ve always had with giving thanks is that in thanking one person, you’re leaving out a host of others. The person who comes last or who is thanked least always feels a little bit jaded. And yet, if you aren’t specific in your thanks, then you leave those you’ve thanked with a degree of uncertainly about the intensity of your feelings toward them. What I plan to do is take the cowards way out. I will publicly thank the only person no one could begrudge me for thanking–my mother. To all those who have befriended me, supported me, and even “mothered” me (you know who you are), please know that I feel similar feelings towards you as well. Without further ado, please accept this love letter to my mother.
Thank you really isn’t a strong enough phrase to express what I feel towards you. When I think of your grieving on my behalf, I grieve for the pain I cause you. Please don’t cry mother. I walk the path I do because of my love of truth. It can be a painful and lonely path at times, but it is also liberating as I now see the world in a way I never knew before and my desire to reach out and help this dying world has never been stronger. I know that I am just one person, but I have abilities which if given time to grow, have the potential to do a lot of good. It is you who I have to thank for helping me develop my abilities. You had the foresight to see to it that all of your children got an education, all six of them. Not an easy feat for a single mother working several jobs to keep food on the table. When I’ve confided this to strangers, they are taken aback and for good reason. If I have anything to brag about in this life, it is you and your faithfulness in providing for your children against all odds. You’ve never needed to verbalize your love because your actions have always spoken louder than a million I Love Yous. When I look around the world and see children abandoned by their parents, I realize that no matter how poor we were, we always had your steadfast devotion to see us through even the toughest of times. That is the most priceless thing a child can have. I couldn’t have asked for a better mother.
For some reason the strongest love is the hardest to express. The simplest of phrases usually have the most meaning, because their intentions aren’t lost in a forest of words. So I will end this letter in that manner. Thank you for being my mother. My only hope is that my actions will speak love as loudly as yours have. Thank you.