Mother's Day is here, and I am 2,332 miles away from the woman who gave birth to me nearly 22 years ago. June of last year was the first real, or perhaps first serious, separation between my mother and I⎯newly 21 years old, I did what no one expected (at least not quite so soon) and moved across the country. Separation is hard. I am the first child, so I am the first to take that step out of home, out of the home-town, and into the vast and wonderfully unpredictable world. I am the one who is testing how far a mother's love can reach, how many miles it can stretch across and still hold on.
My mother is an unbelievably strong woman. Her resilience in the face of adversity has been an inspiration to me throughout my life. She has overcome obstacles no one should ever have to face, and she has done it with unfaltering poise, courage, and humor. I am honored to be her daughter, to share both her smile and her fiery temper, to have been raised to fight for those I love and never let anyone or anything stop me from being all I can be. Thank you, Mom, for everything you are.