Hi Ma.

I tried to think of a funny to explain that you’ve been my mom for 32 years. It didn’t make sense – it was Pearl funny, which basically means it wasn’t at all. But, would you expect differently from me?

Today is your birthday. How does it feel? I hope your birthday weekend has been a blast. Minor baseball and all. I wanted to write to you because I know no better way to show you how much I love you than through my writing.

Mom, I don’t think I explain enough the things you’ve done that has helped me become who I am. I know we have had our differences. We had a lot over the years as I went from the “angel” child to the crazy rebellious teenager. We challenged each other in so many ways. Pushed each other. I think a lot of that is because we are so much a like. And I wouldn’t change that for the world.

I do want to tell you that I’m sorry. For all the years that I caused you pain. I’m sorry I couldn’t communicate with you how I felt, how I thought. I’m sorry that I closed up on the world and spun out of control. I’m sorry for often being disrespectful and spiteful. I am sorry.

As the years go by I understand more and more everything you’ve said and have tried to teach me. I understand why you made the sacrifices you did. To be honest, I never understood why you worked so hard. Other mothers were at home with their kids watching them grow up, going to every basketball game, joining them on school functions. Often times you were working to provide us the opportunity to be a part of those games or school functions. But, I never saw it that way. How foolish I was. I am so very grateful for how hard you’ve worked to provide for us – often alone.

I wish I took the time to appreciate you growing up. I think the six of us kids took your love for advantage. We were never great at not. I only hope today, on your special day, and from here on out I can show you that appreciation.

Thank you mom for being my biggest cheerleader. Thank you for knowing when I needed you. Thank you for letting me know how much you love me. Thank you for never giving up on me and pushing me through so much darkness. These last few years I wouldn’t have made it without you. Thank you, mommy. I only hope I will one day get to repair you for the sacrifice you’ve made for my siblings and I.

Today I can’t be in Everett to celebrate with you, but can you feel it? Can you feel the love from Jeremy and I? Can you feel the hope and well wishes? Can you feel the prayers? Can you feel the hugs we are giving you? Can  you feel how much adoration and respect we have for you? Can you feel how much we appreciate all that you are and do? We send it your way today in hopes that you know how truly special and amazing you are. We send it so you know that you are incredibly missed here in Vancouver and Portland. Everett may be a little too far for us.

Mom, today I hope you know just how truly special you really are. I hope you know how important your role in this crazy family is. I often tease about how my siblings have not cut the umbilical cord. Sometimes, I understand why they haven’t. Sometimes a girl just needs her mommy.

With love mommy. Happy 22nd birthday. We love you with all of our hearts.

Jeremy and Pearl