|me and mom and mountains!|
Beyond the fact that she gave birth to me and has put up with me all these years, my mom's admiration-worthy qualities are many. She has all the usual suspects, of course: kind, compassionate, smart, funny, and so forth. This woman has experienced more than her fair share of adversity and heartache in her life, but this is also a woman with more love and integrity and strength than anyone I've ever known - a woman who shows me by example how to come out stronger on the other side.
She never missed a concert or important event in my life, from fifth grade band all the way through four years as a music major in college...and that's a lot of concerts!! She made many sacrifices to ensure that I could pursue my dreams, but she never once let on that she may have been tired or struggling. I've never gone a second in my life without knowing that somebody thought I was pretty special, even when I didn't believe it myself.
When I started having some funny symptoms during grad school, she drove across the country to make sure I was okay. She drove me to my first MRI appointment (at 2 a.m.!!) and supported me as I struggled to walk down that long hallway. She was a sad but solid support when I was diagnosed with MS and she sat with me for my first steroid infusions. When things kept getting worse and worse but I was determined to finish the year and earn my Master's degree, she uprooted her life and basically moved in to help me out. When I could barely walk and certainly couldn't handle stairs but needed/wanted to get to school to teach or attend class, she provided curbside service - and with this building, that was no easy feat! She took care of many of the little things I had no energy to even consider tackling so that I could focus on getting through each day.
Because of her, I now have that Master's degree and I'm still pursuing those dreams. Because of her, I grew up knowing I could do anything. Because of her, I am a lifelong reader and dreamer. Because of her, I write this blog! And because of her, I won't even worry that this post is an inadequate tribute (which it surely is) because I know that she thinks I'm great, regardless. I love you, mom!!