To the person who made me who I am

Mom,

The other day my boyfriend asked me what I missed the most about being a kid, and the first thing that came to mind was the time I used to spend with you.

Now that I have been out of the house and living on my own since leaving for college at Ohio State a few years ago, it seems the time we have to spend together just gets shorter and shorter. Even though it has been this way for quite some time now, I do not think you understand just how much I tuly cherish the time we have together when we have it.

For starters, I miss making tea and watching our favorite shows together, like a ritual. Bones, Medium, Pretty Little Liars…you name it. Season after season, as the shows grew, so did you and I. I miss kicking dad out of the bedroom so we would have our girl time to talk about our days and gossip about various tv personalities. You’d educate me on the different actors and actresses in Hollywood, who is married to who, and it always amazed me at the amount of knowledge you’d have on a variety of topics. I miss the way you’d comb my hair after taking a shower, and I miss how you’d braid it before volleyball practices, matches and not to mention the tournaments that started at 6 a.m.

I miss sitting in your closet and watching you get ready for a night out with my dad and just being absolutely mesmerized by how truly stunning you were. I miss talking to you while you’d put on your makeup and do your hair like a pro. I remember thinking wow, I hope one day I will look that amazing that when I go out. I also remember thinking there’s no way in hell I’d ever look that beautiful. I miss seeing the way you’d put on lipstick without a mirror and walk in heels so effortlessly. In my eyes, I have always seen you as an absolute goddess.

I miss going to every doctors, dentist appointment, practice, and after school extra-curricular activity with you. I miss our shopping trips and you showing me how to find the best deals at stores and learning how to be a smart shopper. I remember thinking you were seriously one or two steps away from being the next extreme couponer with the way we’d practically steal from stores from the deals you had.

I miss you teaching me how to cook your famous homemade mashed potatoes, and then quickly discovering that I was allergic to raw potatoes when I tried peeling them by hand for the first time. I miss hearing your voice on the phone as you’d call your patients to get your schedule ready for the next day, and your voice calling for my brothers when dinner was ready.

I miss crying with my head in your lap when I had problems with my friends or boys, and hearing you tell me that everything would be alright, and that one day I would find a man who would treat me the way I deserve to be treated. Hell I even miss the fights we had and knowing that no matter how bad it got that it would be okay because we loved each other more than anything.

I miss decorating the house with you, transforming it into a haunted house for my 16th birthday party and then turning the spiders on the walls into handmade snowflakes as the snow began to fall. I miss helping you cook for whenever people would come over on the holidays, and using it as an excuse to bake way too many cookies just so we’d have plenty for ourselves stashed away in secret. Nothing beats your mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe. I miss how you’d spend hours with me trying to come up with the most epic halloween costume because its my favorite holiday, and then walking as fast we could around the block to collect candy because of how cold it was.

I miss coloring Easter eggs, carving pumpkins, and watching scary movies with you. You weren’t fond of them, but knew they were my favorite so you suffered quietly anyway.

The truth is, I could go on forever. I thought about making a list of all the things you were right about, but then I realized there just isn’t enough time in the day to read a list that long. After spending this past weekend with you in New York to start my dream career as a signed model to a top New York agency, I wanted to write you a letter simply to thank you for everything you have done for me and to let you know just how much I love and appreciate you.

Thank you for helping me venture through athletics, going from ballet, to tap, to cheerleading, softball, basketball until I found volleyball. Thank you for being at every event and being my number one fan in the audience. Thank you for helping me rehab my back after breaking it five times from a sport I loved too much to give up. Thank you for helping me get out of bed each morning, helping me change when I could not dress myself, and for helping me to heal properly. I know I would not be walking today if it weren’t for you.

Thank you for raising me to always treat others with kindness, to always take the high road, and to always be honest no matter what the perceived consequence. Thank you for   teaching me to work hard for the things that I want, to go after my dreams with full force, and to never settle for less than what I know I deserve.

Thank you for being my best friend, my partner in crime, the person who first introduced me to Dunkin’ iced coffee and starting my obsession. Thank you for staying up late on the phone with me to make sure I got back home safely from classes, for helping me edit papers and study for exams. Thank you for being the person I knew I could always call no matter the reason, for being the only person I knew I could turn to even on my darkest of days and for always making sure I never felt like I was truly alone.

There isn’t a day where I don’t miss you and our adventures, and it’s why I try to call as often as I can. Most college students look forward to going away to school to get away from their parents, but that was the hardest thing I ever had to do. That was the day I experienced true heartbreak for the first time.

Spending this past weekend with you in New York was honestly the best weekend I have ever had. Despite the beginning being an absolute shit show, our flight being delayed four times and you hurting your back stepping the wrong way running to the gate, you stayed smiling through the entire morning. You made sure I got a Dunkin’ coffee because you knew that would be the thing that would keep a smile on my face. Even though you were in excruciating pain, you popped ibuprofen like it was your job and walked countless blocks in NYC just to make sure we got to see as much of the beautiful city as possible. Every morning you did just that. Popped pills, didn’t say a word about how much pain you were really in, and did everything you could to make sure we had the best weekend possible. You knew just how important this weekend was for the start of my career, and stopped at nothing to make sure my meetings and shooting went as smooth as could be. Almost 100,000 steps later, I don’t know how either or us were able to move come late Sunday when it was time to leave, but I would do it all over and over again if it meant having that weekend with you again.

This weekend wasn’t just about me though, it was also celebrating the fact that as of today, you have accepted a new position of management within your company. Judging by the countless thank you cards and gifts you’ve received from patients over the years, I know you are more than prepared for the position and will do amazing things. I have never seen someone have so much love and compassion for what they do and give 110% into every day. I know you are dealing with some first day on the job nerves, but I know in my heart there is no one more caring or deserving of the position than you. To say the least, I am an extremely proud daughter, and I wonder if you know just how much I brag about you to all of my friends. I can’t wait to hear about how things are progressing with. this new role the next time we talk on the phone (which will probably be sometime later today.)

Now that I am graduated from college with two degrees, beginning my dream career, have found the love of my life and have crushed every goal I have ever set for myself, I know am on my way to becoming the person I was always meant to be. I also know I have one person to thank for that, you. I would not be who I am today, and I would not be in the amazing position that I am in if it weren’t for the way you loved and raised me for the past 22 years, so thank you.

There is no class in life that teaches a woman how to be a great mom, but rest assured if there was one, you’d be the founder, creator, and the only instructor teaching it. I am so truly thankful to have had such a wonderful role model to learn and grow from, and so blessed to have had such an amazing mother that loved me unconditionally. I can only hope that one day I will be half the mom that you are, and I look forward to all of the phone calls and conversations we’ll have when I need advice raising my own kids.

Thank you for being the most amazing mom, I love you, and talk to you soon!

Kaycie