Ma. Mama. Mom. For a lot of reasons, my mama is a pretty special gal. I think anyone with a female role model in their life can attest to how important it can be to have one growing up. I’m not at all afraid to tell the world how my mom is my best friend or how much I love her; talking about her usually finds me announcing “I love Lisa so much” or “ugh my mom is an angel.” Consequently, I’ll jump at any chance I get to openly discuss how lucky I’ve been to grow up with such an incredible role model. Here’s my open letter to my mom saying what makes her so great:
My mom honestly has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen. She’s taught me about the purest form of love, and she’s extended it further than just my dad, my brother, and myself. She’s welcomed our friends into the house and accepted them as extra children—some of my brother’s and my friends literally call her “mom.”
The most impressive part? She’s known her share of pain and loss. Even after the pain she’s experienced because of her big heart, she’s not afraid to keep putting it out there and loving people. She’s learned to stand up for herself not by retreating behind a wall, but by loving herself enough to only accept respect from other people, which is probably one of the most important things to include in this open letter to my mom.
I’ve watched my mom go through a lot of emotionally devastating and taxing situations. Every single time something comes up she takes it in stride, feels what she needs to feel, and overcomes it. The most amazing part is that, having a conversation with her, you’d never know. No matter what she has gone through or is going through, she’s still her happy, bubbly, caring self.
I’m so thankful to have grown up watching that, because now I’m stronger myself. I know that it’s okay to pull myself out of toxic situations, I’m able to stand up for myself when I’m not being treated right, and I know that even though I’m strong enough to pull myself through almost anything, I’ve got her standing behind me the whole time.
Sometimes I wonder why I’m such an all or nothing person, and then I remember that it’s because I’ve grown up watching my mom put her heart and soul into everything she does. For one, she’s an incredibly hard worker. She’s a speech therapist at an early intervention agency, so she’s going into five different homes a day and juggling a lot of different kids with a lot of different needs. But she genuinely cares about every family she services, even though she’s only in their life for a few years at most.
She’s also intensely devoted to our family. Even after 25 years she’s still madly in love with my dad, and they’ve supported each other through the best and worst of those years. As a mother she takes the cake. She’s wholeheartedly supported everything my brother and I have wanted to do in our lives and helped us do it. She didn’t ask for a kid with type one diabetes, but she’s done the two hour drive to appointments countless times, she’s lost sleep when I have middle of the night low blood sugars, and she’s pretty much done 50% of the legwork when it comes to keeping me alive for the past 13 years. As if that wasn’t enough work, she’s done the same for my brother (minus the diabetes part).
I’m not going to lie and say that my mom is the funniest person I know (sorry, mama), but she has one of the best laughs. I’m a firm believer that laughter is pretty underrated and can do a lot for your emotional health, and I’ve definitely been exposed to plenty of it. The best is when she’s really tired and everything is funny, because at that point her laughter is so contagious that the entire house is in on whatever it was that got her started (but that I can assure you shouldn’t have been funny).
It’s hard to describe how close I am with her in this open letter to my mom. It’s the kind of thing you have to see to understand. But we’re inseparable, and I’m basically her clone (in looks and in personality). When I think about the person I want to be in my life, she’s one of the first people to come to mind. I feel so lucky to have had her as my female role model in my life, and I hope that everyone can feel a similar bond with someone. Everyone needs a Lisa in their life!