By Jaime Volpe

When you’re asked to think about your role model, your number one fan, the one person you can always rely on for anything and everything no matter what, who comes to mind? For me, it’s my mom – the amazing woman who brought me into this world and has helped me become the person I am today.

The bond I have with my mom is unlike any other connection I have, or could have with anyone else. She is the first person I call when I feel happy, sad, lonely, angry, frustrated, or excited no matter where I am. My mom is my rock, my best friend, and my escape when I need unconditional love and support.

Our relationship was not always this strong though; while I was growing up and building my own identity I pulled away from my mother in order to feel independent and “popular” with my friends. I spent little time around her and rarely talked to her about the things going on in my life. I brushed off her advice, ignored what I now know were positive comments and suggestions, and didn’t accept or appreciate her willingness to help me through the many milestones and obstacles I was experiencing during this time. I did not want to talk to her about my weight issues, my first period, my friends, boyfriends, or how I was feeling each day.

My mother never gave up on me though and reached out to me each and every day, but I didn’t let her into my life until I became inspired to change myself and became a healthier and happier person. Once I became comfortable in my own skin everything else fell into place in my life – especially my respect and appreciation for my mother.

Reflecting on my experiences has shown me that as we grow and mature into young adults we realize the importance of having positive relationships with family members.

It took me 19 years to begin to accept, appreciate, and admire my mom for everything she brings into my life. After losing a lot of the friends I had in middle and high school for silly reasons, I have learned that friends will come and go but family is forever. My mom has always been there for me when no one else was. Over the past four years she has become one of my best friends and best of all, our love for each other is unconditional.

Growing up I read an extremely meaningful quote each day in my Grandmother’s kitchen that said, “a mother is someone who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.” This saying has stuck with me since childhood because it is a genuine statement that applies to my mom and the place she holds in my heart.

So let’s all use Mother’s Day to think about our moms’, appreciate their efforts, and thank them for always loving us no matter what. Whether we recognize it or not, they truly are one of the most important people in each one of our lives.

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