The mama and her littles. Back row - L to R: Ben (25), Anna (22), Mom, Me (27), Paul (20). In front: Charlie (8) and Woody (10).
You have no idea how many things I have to say —
Because your last time as a high schooler is today.
Soon you’ll be gone far from your mother’s reach
With so many lessons left for life to teach.
From now on you’re on your own and out of site,
So, take heed of each word in this letter I now write…
Work and play hard, but always with a goal in sight.
Compliment and acknowledge others when they are right.
No matter what, black is the color that’s always in fashion.
In life, take up at least one hobby with a true passion.
Remember that forgetting is just as tough as forgiving.
Make life cheaper by doing your own laundry and ironing.
Don’t ever be sorry for who you truly are
And you can survive college without a car!
With old friends, strive to keep in touch.
But when it comes to getting married, don’t be in a rush.
Seek true love, but remember men come and go;
They say “forever;” but their true motives we may not know.
Thank God for all your blessings, several times.
To the people you love most, be especially kind.
Only try to change what you can control.
Follow your heart and don’t forfeit your soul.
If no risk is involved, you’ll never gain.
Live life outwardly and refuse to be plain.
Never turn down an opportunity to learn.
Have self-discipline no matter how hot a temptation may burn.
Learn from your mistakes and allow others to do the same.
Admit that sometimes, you deserve the blame.
Do not let others take advantage of — and walk on — you;
You’ll lose respect for those people, and yourself, too.
People may judge you by how you dress, eat and speak.
Even the juiciest gossip and secrets are most fun to keep.
Be sure to one day have kids and show them your love.
Remember that they are a product from our God up above.
Send nice notes and e-mail greeting cards.
Don’t forget to thank those who helped shape who you are.
Plan for the future, but live for today.
Travel, take bubble baths, and most importantly — pray.
No matter what the situation, don’t steal, cheat or lie.
Give in sometimes when you need to cry.
Don’t be afraid to call friends when you need a crutch.
Do things you enjoy, but never too much.
Consider others’ feelings and opinions.
Learn to live life with certain, minute imperfections.
Think back to how things were as a kid;
Remember all the silly, crazy, fun things that you did.
Above all, remember to yourself be the most true.
And, never forget the words, “I love you.”
I LOVE YOU!
My mom and I unearthed this over the weekend while we were visiting for Mother's Day. I gave this to my mom on the day I graduated high school, as kind of a thank you and recap for all the things she'd taught me up 'til that time. It's funny to re-read now, as nine years have passed since I graduated high school — and lots has changed since then. I'm married, I graduated college and have a career in a field I love. Not to mention I hope I'm a better write than I was then... My siblings are growing up, too. My mom continues to teach valuable lessons — about life and love — to me and to my five younger siblings. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!