Happy Mother’s Day to the most beautiful mom on earth.
Today, it’s not about your physical presence, but rather about the ever-so-meaningful impact you have left on my life.
Mommy, today, on Mother’s Day, I open my heart up to you & tell you EXACTLY what I would have told you if you were here with me physically.
TODAY IS ABOUT THE THANK-YOUS. It’s about me thanking you for all the beautiful things you taught me every single day of my life as I grew up as the LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD, as your daughter.
In a nutshell, YOU WERE (& STILL ARE) MY BEST FRIEND. And, without your lessons & guidance, I would literally FALL FLAT ON MY FACE. You have taught me EVERYTHING about how to be a good, strong, motivated, dedicated, loving, caring, kind, selfless & giving person, but most of all, THAT LOVE COMES WITH NO CONDITIONS, NO RULES, NO “IFS”, “ANDS” OR “BUTS” & NO ENDINGS.
I could go on for days describing the rare & ALL-AROUND-PERFECT mom, wife, friend & person that you were, but my thank-you’s will speak for themselves.
THANK YOU for teaching me to always look at the bright side of things, to always see the glass “half-full” & to always search for the little bit of positive in the negative (Even when the negative seems so overwhelming that finding that little itty-bitty string of positive seems impossible). No matter how tough things got, you NEVER lost your cool. You always found a way to smile & joke about every single situation, no matter how bad, infuriating & scary it was (Even when you were sick & the light at the end of the tunnel started to flicker, YOU STILL FOUND IT WITHIN YOURSELF TO SMILE & LAUGH & MOST OF ALL, TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT). Basically, you taught me that things are NEVER “end-of-the-world” kind of bad and because of you, I am level-headed.
In the same vein, THANK YOU for teaching me that LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE & is essentially the answer to everything. Throughout my entire life, I knew I could always count on you to deliver if I ever needed a good pick-me-up. If I wasn’t with you physically, all I had to do was call you or text you & you ALWAYS had this incredible ability to make me feel better about ANY & EVERY situation (whether it be love-life related, law-school related or simply because I was just having a “blah” day & needed to hear your voice).
THANK YOU for teaching me to ALWAYS see the good in people, to never judge & to ALWAYS seek to understand first and be understood second.
On a LESS SERIOUS NOTE, THANK YOU for teaching me that black leggings are the ANSWER to EVERYTHING.
THANK YOU for teaching me to always be myself & to NEVER CHANGE to gain someone else’s approval. You never worried about what others thought about you, you were always comfortable & confident about who you were & what you did & you have no idea how inspirational that was & still is today.
On another LESS SERIOUS NOTE, thank you for teaching me that SOMETIMES ALL YOU NEED IS SOME GOOD RETAIL THERAPY.
THANK YOU for teaching me what it means to LOVE UNCONDITIONNALLY & WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS. One of the most beautiful things about you, my love, is that you LOVED FULLY & SELFLESSLY. You taught me that love comes with no conditions, no rules & no endings. You always gave without expecting anything in return (and in a world where people are ALWAYS expecting something in return, NOT many people have the ability to do that – this, therefore, speaks wonders about the rare & incredible person you were). No matter what, you were ALWAYS THERE to save the day when it came to those you loved & cared about. Not only did you open your heart & soul, but you also opened your door & welcomed everyone with open arms & the most genuine smile in the world.
THANK YOU for teaching me the value & the importance of speaking my mind, all while remaining open to others’ opinions & points of views.
THANK YOU for teaching me how to entertain. Our home was ALWAYS the epitome of the “hosting house”, the “open house”, the “party house”, the “holidays” house, the “Shabbat dinners” house & THE BEST PART IS: You entertained willingly, happily, effortlessly & EVER-SO-PERFECTLY, Every. Single. Time. I couldn’t be prouder to say I got this gene from my mama.
THANK YOU for teaching me to forgive & forget. You were never one to hold grudges & you always told me how important it was to “move on”. There is a Hebrew saying that states “יעבור זה גם”, which means “This too shall pass” & I genuinely believe that you have taught me the true meaning of living by that & not letting the little things in life cloud or hinder the bigger picture.
THANK YOU for teaching me to be proud of my accomplishments & to acknowledge my efforts. You always told me that my standards were too high & that I was too hard on myself (& unfortunately, you were right). I’ll always remember those late nights spent in the kitchen studying (as you cooked up a storm for the holidays because SOMEHOW my law school exams ALWAYS fell at the same time as the holidays) when you would tell me & I quote “KEL, CLOSE YOUR BOOKS. GO OUT. HAVE A DRINK! YOU DESERVE IT!” Looking back, I totally should’ve listened more often.
THANK YOU for teaching me NOT TO PROCRASTINATE. You taught me one of the most valuable things in life: to NEVER rely on somebody else & to always do what needs to be done, without waiting for somebody else to do it.
THANK YOU for teaching me to be a social butterfly. It’s amazing how now, I walk into the grocery store, the bakery, the dry cleaners & the pharmacy and I have developed the same exact relationships that you had with all the same people. I guess it’s true when they say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Know that these people all still remember you & that you hold a very dear place in all of their hearts.
THANK YOU for teaching me to ALWAYS be kind to others.
THANK YOU for teaching me the importance of building a home founded on Jewish tradition & ingraining all those beautiful Jewish traditions in your children’s’ lives from a very young age. You & daddy did everything in your power to send us to the best Jewish schools, to host all the holiday & shabbat dinners & to teach us what it means to be good Jews ever since we were little & this is something I have ALWAYS PROMISED MYSELF I WOULD DO FOR MY FUTURE CHILDREN.
THANK YOU for teaching me the definition of what it means to be patient. I can honestly say that in situations where most people would yell & scream, you ALWAYS stayed calm & I have never heard you raise your voice to anyone.
THANK YOU for teaching me the value of remaining “young at heart”. You did not look or act a year over thirty & that’s what people absolutely ADORED about you. You kept your friends & family young & all my friends used to tell me I had the “coolest mom in the world”. Essentially, they all saw you as their second mom (EVEN THOUGH I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH TO SHARE YOU!!!)
THANK YOU for teaching me the true importance & value of family. Because of you, I will NEVER forget where home is (both physically & figuratively) & I will ALWAYS aspire to build the beautiful home that you & daddy built for us – a home whose door was ALWAYS OPEN, a home that was ALWAYS FULL OF JOY, LIFE, PEOPLE & DELICIOUS FEASTS, a home that was built on Jewish tradition & most of all, A HOME THAT I ALWAYS COULDN’T WAIT TO “COME HOME TO”. Thanks to you & daddy, Jon, Annie & I know the true value of NEVER BEING ALONE & ALWAYS having someone & some place to run to.
THANK YOU for teaching me not to worry about the things I could not control & to be happy & live for TODAY.
THANK YOU for teaching me to NEVER ENVY OTHERS. You always told me that there will always be people who have more than me in life & who are better off in some way or another than me, but that there will also be those who have less. Thanks to you, I’ve learned that you truly live when you enjoy the things you have as opposed to worrying about what you don’t or can’t have.
THANK YOU for teaching me to make the most out of every moment & to live life to the fullest, even when it seems like EVERYTHING IS CRUMBLING & FALLING APART.
THANK YOU for teaching me the importance of friendship. You always told me that I didn’t need to have a hundred friends & that all I needed was a handful of TRUE & REAL ONES WHO WOULD ALWAYS BE THERE NO MATTER WHAT. And, I’ve lived by that; my love and I still do today. Not only that, but until today, your friends speak so highly of you & they all miss you beyond words. You have left such a lasting & meaningful impact on every single one of their lives & this is something that I continuously aspire to do.
On ANOTHER LESS SERIOUS NOTE, THANK YOU for teaching me the value of a GOOD HOME-COOKED MEAL! I think it’s safe to say you are the embodiment of THE BEST HOME COOK EVER (& the proof is in the pudding, most of my recipes are inspired by yours!)
THANK YOU for teaching me to ALWAYS listen to my gut instincts, to follow my heart & TO NEVER DOUBT MYSELF.
THANK YOU for teaching me the importance of taking care of myself. I remember when I was young & you used to blow-dry my hair & I would complain that you were pulling too hard & hurting me, you always used to repeat a specific saying that grandpa had ingrained in your mind since you were little – “Il faut souffrir pour être belle’. The proof IS ONCE AGAIN in the pudding, my love. Whenever we would go out together, EVERY SINGLE PERSON thought we were sisters & I know that this was because of your beauty & youth that you maintained without fail!
THANK YOU for teaching me to NEVER GIVE UP, TO ALWAYS SMILE IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY & TO ALWAYS FOLLOW MY DREAMS. It’s thanks to you that I am the motivated, driven, determined & dedicated person that I am today & that I will continue to be, as I fight anorexia & as I face all the setbacks, obstacles, traumas & grievances that life may throw my way in the future.
THANK YOU for teaching me to ALWAYS BE MODEST. My love, you had every reason in the world to SHOW OFF that you were the MOST AMAZING WIFE, MOTHER, FRIEND & PERSON IN THE WORLD, but I say with complete & utter certainty that NOT ONCE DID YOU BRAG, SHOW OFF, ASK FOR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OR SEEK APPROVAL & THIS SPEAKS WONDERS ABOUT THE GENUINE PERSON THAT YOU WERE.
Lastly, THANK YOU for teaching me & raising me to be independent. But, know that, NO MATTER WHAT, I will ALWAYS be your LITTLE GIRL & I will ALWAYS NEED YOU. And although I cannot be with you physically & I cannot call you or text you when times get tough, I take comfort in knowing that I have learned (& retained) all of this & more from you & that YOU HAVE LEFT AN EVERLASTING IMPACT & MARK ON MY MIND & MY HEART THAT LITERALLY DICTATES THE WAY I CHOOSE TO LIVE MY LIFE ON A DAILY BASIS: With you, in mind, 24/7.
Mommy, they say you learn something new every day. WITH YOU, MY LOVE, I HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO LEARN A MILLION NEW THINGS EVERYDAY by simply being your daughter. HOW DID I EVEN GET SO LUCKY?
When people ask me where I see myself in five or ten years, the first thing that comes to mind is that I want to be ONLY HALF the mother that you were (& still are). In fact, my ultimate goal in life is to raise my future children in the EXACT same way that you & daddy raised us, to teach & transmit to them all the beautiful lessons & messages you taught us & most of all, to give them the beautiful & seamless childhood that you & daddy worked hard to provide for us every waking second of every single day.
Know that even if I did not say it enough, NONE of this ever went unnoticed – rather, it was just the product of me silently taking it all in so that one day, I could do the same for my children.
And today (and every day), I want you to know that although you are not here with me in person, the IMPACT that you have left on my life is so grand that I have learned that the true meaning of life is not always about the physical, but rather about the mark that one has left ingrained in your mind & on your heart – because as we all know all too well, the physical has the ability to disappear into thin air in the blink of an eye, but the mark will always remain.
Today, I hold on to that mark & I make it my mission to take all the beautiful, meaningful & essential things you have taught me, to HOLD ON TO THEM real tight, to LIVE MY LIFE IN SYNC with them & to eventually, have not only THE OPPORTUNITY, BUT ALSO THE PRIVILEGE TO DO THE SAME FOR MY CHILDREN.
And one last thing, MY LOVE, rest assured that, ever since you left us, daddy has LITERALLY taken on both the role of not only continuing to be the AMAZING FATHER that he always was, but also adopting the role of the PERFECT MOTHER that you always were, that he has continued to teach Jonathan, Annie & I all of these things & that he has LOVED US UNCONDITIONNALLY & BEEN THERE FOR US 24/7 (LITERALLY) in the exact same way that you both would have done for us.
I love you, ALWAYS.
<3 <3 <3