Thanks, mom, for a life of love

Saturday will be an exciting day for me. It's my junior prom.
For weeks now, I have eagerly anticipated this thrilling event, hoping it will be the highlight of the year.
But, in the midst of my excitement, I have been somewhat neglectful of another significant occasion this weekend. This is a grave mistake on my part.
Proms come and go, but the second event this weekend celebrates something much more meaningful and lasting. This event honors one of the most important people in my life.
Something to share
I would like to share with this person how much I love her, so I have written her a letter, to give to her on her special day:
Dear Mom,
Today is Mother's Day.
Today is your day to shine.
For every time you have hugged me when I was sad, for every time you took care of me when I was sick, for every time you made me feel like the most important person in the world, this is my turn to let you know how much you mean to me.
I want to tell you that I think you're the most wonderful woman in the world. You are kind and gentle, and your heart is bursting with love.
You are willing to make any sacrifice necessary to help your family. You have never wanted anything for me but a happy, fulfilled life.
Everything you do, you do out of love.
I could never adequately express how grateful I am to have had you for a mother.
Thank you for everything, Mom.
Thank you for having faith in me. No matter how many times I failed, you still believed in me, even if I didn't believe in myself.
Thank you for listening to me when I was upset. Even when my worries were silly or didn't make sense, I still knew that my feelings mattered, and it was your compassion that made me realize this.
Thank you for all the times you've punished me, because I deserved them, and for all the times you told me "no," because you were right.
Thank you for loving me, Mom. You love me in a way no one else ever could, simply because you're my mother. I know that as long as you live, you will always love me unconditionally, and that I will always be one of the most important people in your life.
I know that I don't often tell you what you mean to me. In fact, I may never have put my feelings into words. I know sometimes I am inconsiderate and thoughtless; I do not always demonstrate how deeply I care.
Please forgive me. Do not ever think, not even for a minute, that I do not love you. Because I do love you, Mom.
I love you in a way I could never love another person. Because you are my mom, the greatest lady I've ever known.
Happy Mother's Day!
XLouise, 16, is a junior at Canfield High School, where she is a member of the National Honor Society, the Academic Challenge team, drama club and the school newspaper staff.

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