Dear Jennifer,

Eighteen years ago you came into my life. I wasn’t trying to be a mom, I didn’t have any idea about being a mom. But I could never fimage1orget the first time I held you in my arms. I loved you even more from that moment. I taught you to believe in yourself… and look at you today! You’ve blossomed into a beautiful young lady with wings spread so wide.

In you I see all my hopes and dreams. And as you naimg_0042vigate the phases of life, I watch you dream big and work hard to achieve them. I watch you create memories with more friends than acquaintances. I watch you hold your standards high without compromise.

As you grow into adulthood, my heart is filled with great joy because there is no question you’ll follow the song in your soul. And you’ll have the courage to grab every opportunity that comes your way.

Life will never be easy but it is too short to wake up with regrets. So remember that genuine success comes from true fulfillment and happiness. It is however, without doubt I know you have the strength to persevere, and the confidence to take you through this journey called life.

But Jennifer, today I have to tell you my heartaches. I am anticipating the moment you leave, because you are my forever person. You are etched in my heart so differently then anyone, you’ve impacted me in so many ways.

What You Have Taught Me, Jennifer:

  • img_0043You taught me unconditional love.  As parents, we discover unconditional love when we have a baby. This love is a fiery protective, all-encompassing love I developed for you soon after you were born. What really has astounded me is your unconditional love for me.  I have messed up time and again as your Mom — sometimes in the BIG TIME ways that sink my heart and leave me thinking, “Oh crap, I’ve really blown this whole parenting deal.”  Yet you still love me and forgive me without question. You have taught me about God’s east-to-west forgiveness for me. Thank you.
  • You taught me perseverance. I have watched you struggle img_5891through challenges most adults would buckle under the weight of carrying. Life as the oldest kid in our house is not easy. We have serious issues that go on here, and as the oldest you become first mate to my piloting many times! You manage with grace. You’ve had personal and emotional issues you haven’t denied but faced head on. I see your hard work and am so proud of your determination.
  • You taught me joy. You have a zany laugh and the most beautiful smile! From you I’ve learned a quiet person can be an extrovert. I would want you in my life even if you weren’t my daughter, because you are one gorgeous woman. You shine light.

So today as your mother I can say I did it! You are this wonderful woman because of me. I know though, that you are your very own person and I am so proud of you. Happy 18th Birthday to you my wonderful daughter!

Love you always and forever…

Mom

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