Now though, I've realized how incredible my mom truly is. I've learned so much about her and seen so much more of her life outside of being "mom" in the past few years, that it amazes me that I didn't see it sooner. My mom is my hero.
This woman has overcome obstacles and difficulties I could not even imagine. She's experienced betrayals and heartaches that no one should ever have to experience. She's even kicked cancer's butt...twice. She's been through hell, but never let it defeat her.
Despite everything, she has become the most amazing person. She volunteers weekly at the food pantry and monthly at a homeless shelter. She is an elementary school secretary (and we all know it takes a saint to do that job!). She has a list of 30 names - adults and kids, friends and family, even friends of family - that she sends cards to monthly, just to let them know she's thinking about them. She spends every bit of her spare change on charities and other things she believes in, like her kids. She has been my loudest cheerleader, my toughest coach, and my most dependable teammate.
I am so blessed to have someone I can look up to so much in my life at all, let alone as my mother. It's hard to imagine those days when we disagreed on everything, because we have become so ridiculously similar. Not a day goes by that I don't find myself laughing to myself thinking That's something my mother would have said.
I only pray I can "grow up" to be half the woman she is - half of her strength, half of her optimism, half of her determinism. If I can do that, I'll be just fine.