It took a village to create the mom I am. I have been thinking about all of these women this weekend and wanted to share them with all of you while giving thanks to them (even though they will probably never read this).
First and foremost the woman who gave birth to me. My mom.
Thank you for having the courage to keep me even though you were just a baby yourself.
Thank you for working hard to support me your whole life. Thank you for protecting me from the hard world all around me. Now that I am a mom and have seen amazing joy and serious heartache I can appreciate even more all you have done for me.
Tara (sister) Lily (sister) Me, Keoni, Kekoa, Mom
You have unflagging love. I have never met a woman so giving, so selfless, so strong. You have seen heartache, but you give to everyone around you. You have seen me through every stage of my life and supported me through it all. I can still count on you, and now all of my boys can count on you too. We are so blessed to have "great grandma" around.
Me, Tara my sister and my Grandma
Dear Great Grandma,
Thank you for remembering my birthday every year. You lived in Ohio, I lived in California and you sent me a card every single year until you died. You sent me a dollar. Every year. I loved that you remembered me, especially because I only met you a few times. You taught me something very special with those cards. Miss you.
Dear Mom Peterson,
I miss you so much. You were the wise calm woman, who let me be wild and listened to me be crazy and loved me anyway. You always showed me a quiet, peaceful love...and helped me heal my wounded teenage heart. You are missed.
(check out my hottie husband...the girl on the right is one of my BFF's Claire...and her mom "Mama Peterson" is the fantastic woman in burgundy behind me.)
Dear Mama Lei,
I miss you more and more as each year goes by. I miss you singing to my babies, I miss your stories, your laugh, your strong personality.
You were as patient as you could be with a young, strong personality know it all girl and loved me in spite of me. You taught me the spirit of Aloha...
Waiting for Keoni to arrive.....I must have had an epidural already!
You taught me more than you even knew....you raised my baby when I couldn't after my stroke.
You worked harder than anyone I knew; you were incredibly creative; you loved all of your grandchildren to pieces (and unknown to them they were ALL told they were her very favorite); you were generous; you were an amazing cook; a beautiful singer; and had the strength of ten women. You were the rock of a HUGE ohana...and we all miss you terribly.
You were my spiritual mother. When I was a new member of the church, you became a dear friend, a loving spiritual mentor and taught me so much. You will always be a part of my family in my mind....I appreciate all you've taught me and your daughters are truly blessed to call you mom. You are also a giant in your family...
And without this man
LOVING me, I would never be a mom.
It truly took a village, and I still have so much to work on.
I am so grateful for all of these fantastic women who have a huge part in who I am.