18 April 2011

a toast

Here’s to my mother, without whom my life would be completely different. Mostly because I wouldn’t be here.

Here’s to the woman who only laughed a little bit when I would run into things repeatedly as a small child (leaving things outside my door was a horrible idea because I would forget about them then fall over). She helped me understand that laughing makes the pain hurt a little bit less and having a positive attitude makes even the toughest adversity seem manageable.

Here’s to the entertainer who read my favorite books aloud to me over and over again, adopting different voices for each character and laughing hysterically along with me. She taught me the importance of performing to the best of my abilities, regardless of whether my audience was one person or one hundred.

Here’s to the savior who held my elbow when crossing the street because my nose would be buried in a book. She encouraged my love of reading, but also wanted to make sure I didn’t die because of it.

Here’s to the adventurer who went with me on my every whim. When I wanted to try a certain food because it was mentioned in a book I had read, she would help me find it (or at least recreate it to the best of our abilities). When I decided that I was going to audition for numerous plays and musicals, she would support me fully, even letting me try my songs or monologues in a nonjudgmental environment. When I told her that I was going to start writing daily, she promised that she would read every single entry. She nurtured my creativity in a such way that I can never be grateful enough.

Here’s to the champion that endured many a car ride with my smelly shin guards and dance shoes, despite her bloodhound-like nasal sensitivity. Also, here’s to the champ who persevered through my cello and trumpet years. She pushed me to pursue my interests, even though it involved sacrificing a little bit of her sanity.

Here’s to the ruler who was never a tyrant. She helped me realize that grades are important, but they are not the only thing that matters. When my peers talked about how they would be punished for my grades, I was shocked because I had never experienced anything like that. Instead of working out of fear, I worked out of self-motivation, and it was clearly an effective strategy.

Here’s to the trooper who put herself through law school while raising two children on her own. To this day, I have no idea how she managed. She showed me, firsthand, that it is possible to rise above and excel, expertly defeating every obstacle that stands between you and your dream. When people ask me about my personal hero, I immediately point to my mother. She may not have superhuman strength in the traditional sense, but I urge you to find something with more drive and determination.

Here’s to the counselor who was with me through physical and emotional injury. She understood my need to be strong, but she also reminded me that sometimes it’s okay to be vulnerable and rely on others. Not even a hero can be invincible all the time.

Here’s to you, mom. I love you so much and I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me. This one’s for you. Happy birthday.


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