Dear Mom,

You've been on my mind a lot this week, as you are every year. It's hard to think about you sometimes, but instead of moping and feeling sorry for myself because you aren't here, or dwelling on what you didn't do, I want to thank you for what you did.

Funny how becoming a parent can change your view of things.

Thank you for teaching me the importance of family. Instead of punishing me for slamming my metal Six Million Dollar Man lunch box over that mean kid's head, you praised me for standing up for my sister. (He and his friends never bothered us again, btw.)

Thank you for making my lunch every day for school. Sorry I didn't always eat the fruit, but I still like a pickle and cheddar cheese with lunch.

Thank you for having good taste in music. I still like Otis Redding, Dinah Washington, and The Who. Sorry about The Allmans. I tried.

Thank you for your sense of humor. You made me laugh like nobody else. I wish I could return the favor.

Thank you for changing all those diapers. I was a big baby. That must've been fun. I'm sure I peed on you at some point too. Sorry about that.

Thank you for taking us to Grandma's all the time. We were close, and she helped me after you were gone.

Thank you for not spanking me even when I'm sure you wanted to. I do wish you'd gotten the memo to Grandma, though, because she whipped my tail.

Thanks for telling me the truth about things. I knew Scott Lindsey was wrong about maxi pads. They have nothing to do with muffling farts.

Thank you for taking care of me even when it was hard. I knew you were in pain but had no idea how much.

Thank you for all your affection. I thought of it often.

Thank you for carrying me for nine months and bringing my fat ass into this world.

Thank you for loving me.

I love you. I miss you.

Cary