She is going to protest every word written here but I believe them with all my heart.
She is the strongest person I know. I have never seen her be anything else.
She’s had her problems and I’ve seen her down and I’ve seen her cry. None of that means that she isn’t strong and amazing.
She moved two provinces away to be with my dad who she had only known 9 months and yet followed her heart to be with him. They had the most amazing marriage I had ever seen. No one has ever had a more truly romantic story than they did.
She is strong in her opinions and beliefs. She made the decision to have all five of her kids without drugs because she believed it would be better.
When my father died, she made the decision to mourn but not give up on life. She continues to be herself and she has not let the experience negatively change her.
I remember when I was 18 and living in Newfoundland for three months. The rest of the family had also moved away from home by then and even my dad was working in Alberta during that time.
She was alone. Maybe for the first time in her life, truly alone. Yet she did not pity or feel sorry for herself, she just went on with her life and continued to be amazing. She knew we were all okay and safe and that is all she needed to know.
I sometimes feel guilty about leaving home just because I know how much she worries about me. She has never pushed this guilt on me. She has always been the one to give me a push and say see how far you can go. Katimavik, university, Halifax, there has never been a time she told me not to do it because of the pain she would go through.
Times when I was sick or lonely, I heard the pain and nervousness in her voice as I’d tell her what I was going through.
Words that will always stick with me is both mom and dad saying, “you got to know.” They have not only said those words but practiced them, leaving decisions up me.
Do I go do Katimavik? You got to know.
Do I go to university? You got to know.
Do I go to Halifax and become a journalist? You got to know.
There was only one time dad broke this rule. I laugh every time I think of me telling him that I had dropped out of university because I was on the waiting list for Katimavik. No classes had started yet and I had everything planned when I got the call that I had a mere chance to travel. Classes, an apartment, a job, all cancelled in a day because I knew no matter what happened, I wanted that opportunity. Both him and my brother were furious that I had cancelled everything on a whim. My mom and my sister stood by me and trusted me to make this decision on my own.
When I got accepted into the program two weeks later, my dad couldn’t be happier. My brothers on the other hand went into full on protectorate modes.
My brother Darren was scared because I wouldn’t know anybody.
My brother Duane was worried because I could get hurt and be so far away.
Mom silenced them all because it was my decision to go.
So Mom, on your birthday, I want to thank you for showing me what I strong, hardworking woman is. I want to thank you for always supporting me, even when that meant not seeing each other for months and years. I want you to know that these gifts you have given me will never be forgotten.