When I was little, she was there backstage at my ballet recitals, in my classrooms helping with class parties and at home talking about our favorite books. She was there to listen to all of my middle school drama (God bless her for that one) and to stay up late helping me with homework. She was there when I discovered my love for horses and even there to rediscover her own love. To this day, it's one of the things we both could talk about for hours.
In high school, she was there to help me brave the world of new friendships and college applications. She was there to go dress shopping for ring dance and prom. She was there to console me when I didn't pass my driving permit test the first time and to teach me how to drive when I eventually did. She was there to help me with my college applications, go on endless campus tours, and celebrate me when I got the acceptance letters. While most girls were complaining about their mom, I was quickly realizing how great mine was.
When it was finally time for me to go to college, I knew my mom wouldn't always be there physically, but she still managed to be there for me when I needed. She was there to provide one last hug before dropping me off at college, even if it was tear stained from the both of us. She was there to listen to my endless stories about college and my new friends and cheered me on as I navigated my way through my freshman year. Despite her encouraging this distance and newfound freedom, I always knew she'd be there with open arms to welcome me back home.
She was there to answer the phone call my senior year that I had been accepted to City Year, something that would change my life completely. She was there to cheer me on and watch me cross the stage as I crossed over from JMU student to JMU alumnus.
As I entered the working world, she was always there to answer my phone calls and texts, even if I was hundreds of miles away. And, as always, she was there to welcome me home. When Mike and I got engaged, she was there to celebrate (when I got home) and was my favorite and most loyal wedding planner.
On my wedding day, she was there to help me get in my dress, put on my veil and shed a few tears (John Legend will do that to you), as well as party it up afterwards.
And the night before I moved to Turkey? She was there to hold me and love me as I cried. She then proceeded to offer me a glass of wine because she knows what every girl needs after a breakdown like that. She was also there to drop me off the next day and stayed until my train pulled out of the station. She's been there every Sunday since then to FaceTime and hear all about our latest travels and I know that she'll be there to welcome me home when I head back.
I always knew how lucky I was to have a mom like mine. She's been my biggest cheerleader, helping hand and role model as I navigated my way through childhood and adulthood. As I get older, I realize how truly lucky I was to have my mom always be there.
Happy (we won't tell anyone which one) birthday, Mom! Enjoy your big day!