A Letter To All Single Mothers: Thank You For Everything

by Nora Lin

Dear Mommy,

Though you may have spent the past decade trying to rid me of this habit, I will always call you “Mommy” and never “Mom.”

Throughout my life and yours, people have been forever walking in and out — some entering and leaving peacefully, others bulldozing through only to leave the door wide open after they exit.

However, you have remained the one person who has been there for me from the very beginning. This is why you, and only you, are my one true hero.

You, along with millions of other women, were left to somehow fend for yourself in this cruel world. Whether you liked it or not, you were tasked with raising an infant, while simultaneously growing up to be an intelligent person. It is a gross understatement to say that was quite the undertaking.

Though sometimes it may feel like it, you are not alone. It may have often seemed like a curse to have to raise a child alone, but from watching you do it so well, I now know what true strength is.

When I went to school and heard "a woman can't do this" or "a woman can't do that," I thought, "Oh, yeah? Well how many of you have a single mom?"

Being a single mom meant you, and only you, had to bring home the bacon. Child support and welfare aside, you had to be on top of everything in every which way.

You worked your job (all four of them) whilst somehow managing to keep me safe and occupied until dinner. To me, you were magical; you were Superwoman.

Even though I witnessed the slew of men that broke your heart and left you to pick up the pieces, you remained a beacon of hope and positivity. Yet, no matter how many times you were abandoned or lost hope, you still spoke to me in a language that hoped for and believed in a better tomorrow.

We went through homes and homes, each different from the last, striving to find a solid place to feel a true sense of belonging. I, as a child growing into a hormonal adolescent, only made that feat more difficult for you.

Through it all, I never realized that what I came to cherish most is how you were and forever will be my rock. I complain constantly about having nothing solid in my life. We move and people come and go as the tides change, but you have always been there.

We have grown with and shaped each other into the people we are today. And, though we both have had our low points (more often than I care to admit), I can only attribute the high points to the fact that I am here because of you.

In your embrace, I will always find the strength and warmth that I so often cannot find within myself. In the darkness, you are the light that shines and pulls me forward, which reminds me tomorrow is another day and another adventure to be had.

I would never have been able to see the strength within myself if you had not first pointed it out.

We had some pretty crazy moments and some really great ones. You singlehandedly got me through my teenage years and somehow managed to come out alive. If that’s not something of which to be proud, then I don’t know what is.

Now, I’m moving on to something bigger. I feel much more ready than most people I know and that’s because you gave me the space I needed to grow and become independent.

You nurtured my talents and allowed me the freedom to form my own opinions. And now, as I move into the next chapter in my life, I assure you that I will be safe.

It won’t be easy for me to leave you (I’ve always missed you while away, even for a weekend), but this is something I have to do. It is because of you that I have gotten this far and continue to grow.

There are just a few last things I must tell you before I go:

1. I know you don’t want me to repeat your mistakes, but I have to f*ck up a few times in order to learn.

2. I will try my best to be happy and healthy.

3. I promise to call/text/Skype you whenever I get the chance.

4. Thank you. I will never find the words to convey exactly how I feel, but you are my rock and I love you unconditionally.

Love always, Your child

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr