To my mother on my birthday,
Thank you for everything. (How’s that for getting right to the point, Nick?)
As I reflect on my 24 years of life, I realize that I owe all of my successes to you. You have prepared me for failure, and you have celebrated my achievements. You have taught me how to cry, and you have taught me how to laugh. You have taught me how to console, and you have taught me how to be consoled. You have equipped me with the tools to cope with loss, and you have taught me how to accept change. You have brought me back to reality, and you have supported my ambition.
You, Mama, have taught me everything I know, and you have supported everything I’ve done. Thank you.
And thank you for being such a wonderful mother to each and every one of your eight children (yes, ladies and gentleman; my mother and father produced one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, EIGHT children. That is the real reason they call my father “the Count”). Each of your children, and each of your childrens’ children, recognize and appreciate your inhuman ability to be available for your offspring at all times.
Thank you for always being such a wonderful wife to our father, and such a wonderful friend to the people in your life. You have taught me by example, and your example has been truly remarkable. Through your own actions, you have taught me to think of others before myself; you have shown me the value in love; you have helped me understand the power of a hand-written card; you, Mama, have made me the independent person I am today. You are the strongest person I know, and I thank you for the times that you’ve helped me when it was you that needed help.
For those of you have not met my mother, she is a saint. She is the glue that keeps our (very large) family together. She is the pillar upon which her friends and family lean when the tide turns and the skies grow dark.
So, today, on my 24th birthday, I thank you, Mama. You’re an incredible woman, and I hope that I become more like you with each year that passes. And, as always, thank you for reading!