Dear Mom,

Your early life was not an easy one. Born in India, the middle child of seven, your path to the education you cherish was challenging. You immigrated alone to the United States at the age of 19 to pursue your college education and to send money home to your ailing father. It must have taken real bravery—a kind I have never known. And yet, despite the difficulties in your early life, you never hardened. In fact, you became more determined.

Looking back, I was probably not the easiest daughter to raise in my formative years. You always said that someday I would have a strong willed daughter like myself—and you were right. Thank you for showing me that a strong will, directed the right way, can be a tremendous asset. Now that I have Bella, my heart regrets all of the challenges I gave you. But despite all of it, you’ve always been my guiding light, my number one advisor, and the human on earth that I admire more than any other.

On this Mother’s Day I want to say thank you! The hustle and bustle of our everyday lives leaves little room for gratitude and reflection. I know that I have taken for granted how you’ve always been by my side. My goal this year is to pause more and tell you how much I love and appreciate you. Andy and I continue to learn from you—and now so does our family’s most precious little eleven year old human, who also happens to love you so much.

You and Dad have made more sacrifices and spent more time and energy on your children and grandchildren than any parents that I know.

For that, and so much more, I say thank you Mom.

Much love,