This is a tribute letter I wrote my mother a couple years ago…it all bears repeating… 

Dear Mom,
I have so many good memories of growing up as your daughter.  I love hearing the story of you teaching me to ride my bike and that being the one and only time you spanked me because I apparently told you “no!” (which I apparently never did).  I remember you teaching me how to drive in seventh grade in the parking lot across from our apartment and all the illegal driving I did on back roads between Channahon and Morris way before I had my license or permit.  I remember you coming to my high school to yell at a teacher who dared to give your little girl a bad grade.  (I was mortified but all my friends that you were totally cool to do that.)  I remember us picking out my prom dress and our car getting stolen at the mall, with said prom dress in the trunk.  I remember you standing with the video camera for almost an hour waiting for my very late prom date to arrive.  I remember you going with me to register for Trinity but only after telling me you were pregnant with Allison when I was 19.  I remember you coming to see Sara just moments after she was born, and me begging the nurse to make sure you weren’t in the hallway to hear my screaming because I didn’t want you to be scared or sad.  I remember you coming to my house to help me rest and teach me how to take care of a newborn and make me homemade chicken noodle soup.  I remember you and Bob driving up to Aurora to bring me a winter coat because you thought the one I had wasn’t warm enough.  I remember when you told me you became a Christian and how excited and amazed and grateful I was.  I remember the honor and privilege of being the one to baptize you…a memory I will never forget.  I remember you being in the audience of many of my speaking engagements and for Jack’s baptism and football games and FMSC basketball day.  And all of these things are just scratching the surface.
You have expressed doubt at being a good mother, but Mom, I wouldn’t want anyone else.
Thank you for doing your absolute best, through some very difficult life circumstances, to raise me well.  I am honored to be your daughter, and hopeful that I’ll look even half as good as you for another few years!
I love you with all of my heart,
Bethie