This post was originally published on my Facebook page. I thought it should go here too.
I found Mom 16 years ago today. While there have been the obvious and predictable issues that exist in any relationship, there is no doubt that finding Mom has made me a much better person. It has taken years, but I have come to understand that difficulties that have sometimes existed between us have taught me tons, encouraged me to grow, and contributed me becoming a better man.
When I was looking for Mom, I never imagined my life would be where it is today. During some of the difficult times that we have worked through, I more often than I wish was true had a hard time believing we could ever reach this place and that my life could feel as comfortable and good as it does now. That’s not to say I ever seriously considered walking away. I have always known Mom is exactly the Mom I wasn’t smart enough to know I needed when I began searching for her. But honesty compels me to admit there were times walking away sounded good in my head.
There were times an unjust fear of rejection made quitting feel good.
There were times when not seeing the progress I wanted and not getting the outcomes I knew were best made running seem better than waiting.
There were times when knowing I knew more than I actually knew made maintaining patience difficult.
There were times when facing my own personal failures and weaknesses–was far harder than assigning blame.
There were times when remembering the benefits taught by the hardships of life was something I couldn’t acknowledge.
There were times feeling sorry for myself for all of the things I have faced and those I face on a daily basis made the idea of walking away from turmoil sound appealing.
I never surrendered to fear.
I never completely stopped waiting on both of us to grow.
I never lost all patience in the name of steady sometimes hard-to-see progress.
I never fully believed in the sometimes absolute faith in my judgment I am very good at portraying.
I never was totally unwilling to face my failures and work on my weaknesses.
Eventually, I learned the value of lessons that are sometimes taught by hardship.
I never felt sorry for myself to the point where I quit on myself.
Sixteen years later, I am certain that I am a dramatically better person than I was the day I found Mom.
Sixteen years later, I I have a much more honest, realistic understanding of me.
Sixteen years later, I am very able and willing to admit my core strengths, my weaknesses, the areas that need work, and those that require acceptance from those who love me.
Sixteen years later, I’m regularly posting updates on my life that would have been unimaginable to me 16 years earlier.
Sixteen years later, I imagine myself someday being the man, husband, maybe father, and friend I never saw as a child.
Sixteen years later, I know I’ll never be the man, husband, maybe father, and friend I dream of being.
Sixteen years later, I’m okay with never being an unrealistic man, husband, friend, maybe father, and friend.
Sixteen years later, I know I am the best man I can be, I will be the best husband I can be, I may be the best father I can be, I am the best friend I can be every day.
Sixteen years later, I love myself enough to know that sometimes failing to be the best man I can be will teach me what I must learn to be a better man, husband, maybe father, and true friend.
Sixteen years later, I thank you, Mom. I thank you for every second of our journey. Even the parts of it that made me want to scream and those which reduced me to tears. For everything we have experienced together and everything we have experienced apart has done so much to help me learn my self-worth, appreciate my good fortune, face weaknesses I hated facing, and taught me how to keep improving.
Sixteen years later, I am more appreciative for our 16 years together than I was the day before.
Thank you, Mom. I love you with all my heart.