A window inside life at Augustana College

For my mommy

“Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.” ~Marion C. Garretty, quoted in A Little Spoonful of Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul

I am everything I am today because of my mom. I have never known a woman so selfless, loving, and inspirational as she is.

My earliest memories of my mother are reading books together when I was very young. She would read me the same stories over and over and over and although I’m sure she was bored after the first twenty-five repetitions, she never complained and would let me flip the pages to my favorite stories and read them with the same sing-song intonation over and over and over until my little mind was satisfied. It is from my mother that I learned to love learning and gained my little “sponge” mentality that has gotten me so far in life.

My favorite memories of my mother are from our family vacations. My parents took us so many places in the country and our vacations were always well planned and included all the most fun and interesting things in the places where we went. I remember staying in a cabin in the Black Hills, collecting shells on a beach in Florida, and going to so many zoos that we basically turned into monkeys. I learned my love of travel and adventure from my mom.

My closest moments with my mom were at the points in my life when nothing seemed to be going right. She was there for me when I didn’t get into a summer program that I really wanted to do and experienced rejection for the first time. She was there for me when my heart was broken by a boy for the first time. and the second. and the third. and…well you get the picture. She was there for me when my best friend moved away in middle school and when a close friend’s mother passed away earlier this year. My mother taught me the beauty of hope.

My happiest memories of my mom are her being there for me at the highest points in my life- winning speech contests in middle school, hundreds of concerts and performances in high school, my first day of college, and small daily achievements that I have called and bragged to her about when no one else was as excited as I was. I learned the balance between celebration and humility from my mother.

My mother has always been supportive of things I want to do, even when I know she thinks I’m crazy. When I wanted to quit piano in third grade to be a soccer player, she supported my decision. She led my Girl Scout troupe all through middle school and helped my friends and I learn leadership skills that we will use for the rest of our lives. When I decided to become a camp counselor and spend my last summers in high school away from home, she knew how important it was to me. She let me drive to Chicago for a conference by myself at age 18 and gave me the confidence that I could do it. When I told her I was going to fly to Singapore and Thailand by myself for 5 weeks, she gave me a look that said, “I’m not sure you’re my daughter” but ultimately let me go and allowed me to have the most life-changing experience I’ve ever had. My mother taught me the value of exploration and independence.

My mother is an extremely hard-working woman and I have never heard her complain about all the work she does to provide for my family. She is a talented business woman, a dedicated volunteer, a phenomenal leader in everything she does, and the glue that holds our home together. I have learned the value of doing my best from my mom.

So, Mom, thanks for being a never-ending source of love in my life. I know sometimes I come up with some crazy ideas but thanks for never doubting me and helping me grow the wings that have allowed me to fly to where I am today. I owe everything I am to you and I love you so much!

Katrina

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