Dear Mom and Dad,
I don’t know if I have ever written you a proper thank you note.
With each year of my almost 27-year-old life that passes, I have so much to be thankful for when it comes to having you as my parents.
I am almost the age you were when I came into your life. It’s hard for me to imagine the responsibility and fear you were feeling then.
I came into your life and depended on you for everything.
You have provided love, dedication, empathy and enthusiasm beyond what I think I am capable of.
You were the first people to teach me what unconditional, unrelenting and genuine love is.
You listen to me when I am happy. You lend me your shoulders when I am sad.
You feel my pain as your own, and you celebrate my triumphs wholeheartedly.
You have taught me how to be playful and tender, how to listen cautiously and how to love openly.
You taught me the value of a hug.
You have supported my every endeavor, even when I didn’t believe in myself.
You have given me realistic expectations, but taught me the value of a dream. You encourage my passions and support my eagerness to learn.
You have taught me to channel calmness and to find peace within myself, without worrying what others may think.
You have taught me how to be an individual.
You have shown me the beauty that exists in mundane things. You harnessed my imagination and fostered my creativity.
You let me be me.
You have shown me how to stand up for myself because sometimes, no one else will.
You have shielded me from darkness as much as you could, but you truthfully taught me evil exists in the world.
You have been by my side as I’ve confronted my darkest secrets, and you have buffered my pain just enough.
You let me experience heartbreak like everyone should, but you held my hand when I needed it.
You have introduced humor on many stormy days and taught me to dance in the rain. Because of you, I can confidently weather the storm.
More than anything, you taught me to believe in myself.
You are the reason I am the person I have become.
You have given me the courage to face every unturned stone, the energy to take the adventures that have yet to be written and the warmth to love others as much as you have loved me.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized what a treasure it is to have such outstanding role models and supporters in my life.
I don’t tell you often enough, but I cannot imagine any parents being more committed to their children than the two of you are to me and my siblings.
I have not been dealt the easiest hand in life, but having you by my side me has given me a sense of peace.
I would love to be able to say there is not a day that goes by that I don’t consciously think about all you’ve done for me in my life, but that’s not true.
There are days I take you for granted.
There are days I expect you to be there for me and say what I desperately want to hear.
There are days when I want you to coddle me, instead of letting me fly and hope I land at my destination on my own.
I’m not proud of this, but I know it.
And I know it because you’ve provided the wherewithal for me to fly without crashing.
Thank you for today and every day.