I can't write all that I want to say (I do not have that ability), but I will write this: the only way to know how much your mother loves you is to become a mother yourself. Then you will know why she fretted over your poor decisions, you will know why she never had a disapproving word for the way you looked (even though you were pretty sure you were ugly at the time), you will know why she prays for you earnestly, you will know why she loves being with you and you will know why she will do anything for you. It's because underneath all the exterior of adulthood, she looks at you and still sees that little girl who captured her heart over 30 years ago. She remembers what it was like to hold you close and watch you dance and make wishes and cry over stubbed toes. She never missed a moment, even though you were blissfully unaware that she was watching. She was there when you lost the lead role, when you aced your test and when you didn't understand geometry. She watched all your plays, clapped for all your solos, was diligent to protect you from meanies, and made your interests her own. She sent you packages at the dorm, read your essays, filled your gas tank and advised you against certain boys. She helped you into your wedding dress, was ecstatic when you found out you were pregnant and held your hand as you delivered your babies. She's foundational to who you are, yet an inspiration to who you believe you could be.
I understand now that being Mama to my children is the deepest and most important calling I can hope to rise toward. And I thank you, Mom, for being willing to sacrifice in so many vital ways in order to be what I someday wish to be.
Love, your Lauren