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My dear sweet Mom, since you left on the saddest day my soul will ever know, Iíve thought of you daily.  Often in my reflections of you, Iíve recalled so many times I should have told you what was in my heart.

I remember as a small boy going to the ocean in Florida.  I was so afraid when I heard that jellyfish sometimes wash up on the shore, and you could be badly stung if you stepped on one.  As only a mother would, you carried your frightened child up and down that beach all afternoon.  I was just 4 years old, so I didnít say thank you.
So for all those countless times over the years that you protected me from both real and imagined fears, thank you, Mom.

As an adolescent, I remember once being very sick in the hospital for several weeks.  You slept in that old chair by my bed every night like a guardian angel.  I recall the many times I woke up, saw your face, and knew I would be okay.
So for all the times you watched and prayed over me, thank you, Mom.

There was that difficult time in my first year of high school when I was accused of a wrongdoing.  You confronted the vice principal and insisted there had been a misunderstanding -- you convinced him and made it right!
So for all the times you stood up for me, battled for me, and let me know you believed in me, thank you, Mom.

One snowy Christmas, when I lived almost 2 hours away from you, my car would not start as I prepared to come home for the holiday.  I figured that for the first time in my 25 years I was going to miss Christmas with my family.  But you wouldnít have it.  You got in your car, drove over, and carried me home with you.
So for all those times you rescued me, no matter how much it inconvenienced you, thank you, Mom.

At every Thanksgiving dinner, we went around the table and each family member spoke of something for which they were thankful.  Mom, you said the same thing every year, ďIím thankful for Jesus and salvationĒ.  I never told you how much that meant to me; how it bolstered my own faith and reminded me of Godís promise to us.
So for teaching me about Godís love and the importance of faith, thank you, Mom

I recall once when I was overwhelmed by some of the circumstances of my life. As usual, I came to you for support. You said to me ďSon, I believe that if they dropped you in a strange country on the other side of the world, in the middle of the night, you would get along just fine. So no matter what happens you will find a way to deal with this -- and Iíll be here for you the whole way.Ē
So for instilling me with confidence, capability, and a strong sense of self that would serve me well in life, thank you, Mom.

I remember not so long ago, when you were very sick, and growing weaker and more incapacitated with each passing day.  Never, not one single time, did I ever hear you complain.  All through my life, I watched you endure losses and hurts with that same strength and courage Ė a living testament to the power of your faith.
So thank you, Mom, for showing me how to face lifeís adversities with dignity and grace -- two of your defining features.

Mom, at this time of thanksgiving, I want to express to you the profound gratitude that fills my broken heart.  Thank you for all the times you rescued, defended, and protected me; for fighting for me and inspiring me; and for showing me how to live a good life.  Everything you did for me was out of love.  Indeed, no one could ever dare ask to be loved more beautifully.
For that, Mom, I owe you the biggest thanks of all!
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