My mom.

I just happened to check my mom's away mesage, when I noticed she had something written in her profile. She normally leaves it blank, so of course, I checked it out.What she had written put tears in my eyes. Though I'm more than 1,200 miles away from my family and a grown woman, sometimes, all I want is a hug from my mom when life is overwhelming me...

What she wrote:

Things I Wish I Had Taught My Daughters:
Trust is something that some people don't deserve.
Love should never be given to people that are unworthy.
People that are users and manipulators do not know the true meaning of friendship.
Some people will do anything to feel important because deep inside they are small.
And though some people talk about not liking certain behaviors, when it suits them they think it is great.

Things I Am Glad I Taught My Daughters:
To be themselves.
To forgive those that are worth forgiving.
To give their love to the person most deserving.
And to be true to the friends that count.

If any of you have ever wondered why I am the way I am, spending five minutes with my mother will tell you all you ever need to know. All I have ever learned about being a woman of grace, compassion, and class, I learned from her. All I have ever learned about how to treat others kindly, with dignity and respect, and compassion, I learned from her. Everything I have ever learned about the strength of our family, and that blood is thicker than water, I learned from her. She has taught me how to let the words and hurtful actions of other slide off me, and taught me when to let go.

She taught me to love rock 'n roll and homemade chicken soup in equal measures. She danced around with us in our living room to the Bangles, and Bon Jovi, while my sisters and I used spoons for microphones, and our stuffed animals for our audience. She drove around in the car (and still does), being a complete goofball and tapping her hands on the steering wheel to her favorite song. She was always completely ok with being off-key, as long as she was having fun. She oohed and aahed over every single thing we ever made for her or brought home, regardless of how ugly it was, simply because she knew we put time into it. And she always proudly displayed our work, every single time, and never once thought of putting them in a more secluded place. She always pushed me to do my best, both in school, and out of school. She never once yelled when I stopped bothering to study for tests, but you better believe, she made sure I brought home straight A's. She taught me how to cook and bake brownies, how to shave, how to be patient with a boy when he's acting stupid, as boys do.

She spent countless hours reading to me when I was a small child and helping to instill within me my joy of words and love of reading. She laid sleepless nights on the floor of the hallway when my sisters and I were both sick, and we wanted her near us. She Band-Aided our boo boos, kissed away our tears, smoothed our hair back when our head was in her lap, and hugged us while we sobbed about some broken heart. She showed me the beauty of flowers, and that the greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of understanding and kindness. She taught me I should always, ALWAYS treat people with respect, and second chances are wonderful things. She welcomed our friends into our home, whether it be their first time, or five hundreth, and treated them as if they were one of her own. She was everyone's second mom, because she had so much love to give, she was always more than willing to give a little to our friends who perhaps needed a little extra.

She is the class clown/troublemaker/goofball at work, because she loves to get under her supervisor's skin, with the help of her best friend, Suzanne. Whether it be wearing deer antlers that play "Jingle Bells" to work around Christmas time, or defending someone who is being treated unfairly, she manages to make her work days interesting. She went to see Bon Jovi and Lenny Kravitz a few months ago, and made me laugh when she informed me that Lenny wanted her to run away with him, but she had to tell him "I'm sorry, Lenny...but I have daughters. You know how it is.", and then proceeded to tell me that he has "the cutest butt" she's ever seen, "don't tell your dad."

She could remember seven different doctor appointments stretched out over four different months for three different daughters, and always managed to get Brianna to her gymnastics meets, Sharlee to cheerleading, and myself to my hockey games...even if they were all on the same day, and in three different states. She let us be who we were, regardless of how different from one another we were. She cried each and every time one of her daughters was hurting...and she still does.

And she trusted me enough as I grew older to be completely honest with me, and treated me like an adult, instead of the kid I more or less still was.If there is...one person...in this world I would give anything to be more like, it is my mother. She is my mother, yes, and my perceptions may be a bit biased. She is also, however, one of the most remarkable women you'd ever have the chance to meet.

If I can master her mix of patience, strength, love and generosity, intelligence, class, and grace...if I can even come close...I will consider myself a woman worthy of the compliment "You are so much like your mother." She, and my father, and truly the two people I look up to most in this world. I can't write enough about either--abut the things they taught me, about what I learned from them, and about the love they always enveloped us with. I am so damn lucky. So very damn lucky to have the parents, and the family I have. So damn lucky, and don't think I take any of it for granted.

Not one bit.