She is not just my mother, she is my friend. We spend quality time together, we talk about our day, we share our thoughts about important issues. Almost every week we have a movie night, where I'll bring a movie and we'll watch it together. We usually have pizza or something else fun for dinner that night. Most of the time, it's a chick flick of some kind, and we giggle like teenage girls while we watch it. We dye each other's hair and go shopping for clothes together. So yes, she is more like a friend now than a mother.
But before she was a friend, she was (and still is) a great mother. Growing up, I always admired and respected her. She is strong and beautiful. She does anything that is needed and never complains. She is respectful and kind to everyone, no matter how they are to her. She finds joy in everything, and sees the beauty of the world even in the midst of crisis. She looks at people and sees their potential, not their faults. She is encouraging and loving. But even with all that, she is not a pushover. She stands up for herself and demands respect. She is adventurous and full of life! She taught me to respect people and myself. She taught me to be strong and to be able to take care of myself. She said over and over that I could do anything I wanted to do. She was my encourager through my divorce and through going back to school. She helped me do what I needed to do in order to take my life back, and she helped me to see just how valuable I could be to the world. She supports me in everything I do. It is because of her that I am the person I am now, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
If I ever have the opportunity to be a mother, I hope I will be the kind of mother she has always been to me. Also, the relationship she has with my dad is something special. They will celebrate 40 years this summer, and I hope if I ever get married again, I will have the kind of relationship they have. It's inspiring and beautiful.
She will never read this, because she doesn't know this blog exists. She would not be happy that I posted her picture, but that's because she thinks she doesn't photograph well. I think she photographs just fine. In fact, I think she's beautiful, inside and out!