The Lorelai To My Rory – Happy Birthday Mom
I’m never entirely sure what to get you for your birthday… I can’t afford to give you an exotic vacation, I can’t seem to win tickets to this year’s Jimmy Buffet concert, and I always seem to be scrambling at the last minute to find that ‘perfect’ gift because your birthday always sneaks up on me and by then it’s just too late. I know. I’m a terrible daughter. I’m sorry. So this year I decided to do something different. I decided to write my gift instead because well, I’m a writer and that’s what I do best and no one writes letters to each other anymore because it’s considered ‘old fashion.’ Maybe if people wrote more letters to one another, instead of putting all their feelings on social media, the world would be a better place.
And yes, I am also writing it to you in a place where it’s going to go public, and no, I don’t care because I wish more people had a Mom like you. People need to have someone like you in their lives as a parent and as a friend.
I just wanted to say thank you for everything that you’ve done and everything that you’ve given me. You’ve given me the courage and inspiration to be myself. You’ve taught me right from wrong. You’ve encouraged me to pursue my passions and to not let anything stand in my way. I am a person of strength, character, and morals because of you. You put up with me when I get too stubborn for my own good, and you are quick to put in me my place if I get too big for my britches. You are also quick to share and encourage my joy when something good happens. A job. An internship. Graduation, etc. When I’m sad or angry, you always manage to find a way to cheer me up. You’ve shown me how to embrace my flaws and weaknesses as a human being, and you’ve shown me how to turn those flaws into strengths and something to be proud of.
These last few months… hell, this last year, has been one for the ages. You kicked breast cancer in the ass and sent it packing like a true boss babe. You conquered your fears of claustrophobia by having weekly CT scans and you were determined not to let any of it beat you. And then the green blob of 2018 happened. And though it was touch and go for a while, including the time you scared the hell out of me (thanks for that, by the way), you are starting to come back stronger and more resilient than ever. Even on the toughest day, you were still able to be Mama Bear and tear apart those who were pushing your cub into a corner. Even though that cub is 25 and able to take care of itself, she still appreciates having her mama to back her up.
Mom, you always have my back. I’m not one of those people who go running to their mommy every time the world gets a little bit scary and too much to handle, but when it does, it’s nice to know that you are there for me and that you always have my back no matter what. Every kid should have a parent like that. Not to coddle them or protect them, even though that’s every parent’s instinct to do with their child, but I know that you will let me catch my breath and regroup and let me figure things out on my own. You’re a silent force of strength these days as I wander about, finding my way.
Growing up, I never realized how difficult it must have been for you to be a single parent. I don’t think any child does, really. Trying to raise a child while working full-time and going to school full-time… People wonder why I have such drive and high expectations of the world. It’s because of you. You are Superwoman and Wonder Woman rolled into one being. I have high expectations of myself and others because of you and your example of how a person should be in this world. Kind. Compassionate. Passionate. Independent. Strong. Stubborn. Opinionated. Open minded and accepting. Not tolerant, but accepting of everyone and everything that is different than myself. You’ve taught me how to see the world in color rather than black and white or shades of grey. Every bit of my personality comes from you and I couldn’t be more grateful if I tried.
My therapist made an interesting observation at our first session last week. She told me that you are my ‘person.’ The person I can always count on. The person who has my back no matter what. The person who is quick to call me out on my crap and the one I turn to for advice. And she’s right. As Christina Yang once said, “she’s my person. If I murdered someone, she’s the person I would call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor.”
I thought that was a little strange at first, but then I realized that it makes sense. You are my person and you will always be my person. You are the Lorelai to my Rory, and I know that we’re not the affectionate type to hug and say “I love you” all the time and that’s okay. I know you love me, even when I’m not exactly the nicest person to be around. I love you, even if I don’t always show it. That’s just how we roll.
Mom, in the words of Rory Gilmore, “you’ve given me everything I need.” I love you, and I wish you the happiest of birthdays!