I can finally say this will be your last birthday in which I am incarcerated. I know it has been one long road for you. But the end is finally in sight. Our family will be complete again. I know these last 7+ years since it all started has been very tough on you. I am sure you have been embarrassed, angry, scared, impatient, and sad. But happiness and a sense of relief is right around the corner. It is almost over, Mom……almost over.
When I was growing up I know I was a hard kid to raise. Although I hardly got in trouble with anyone and followed the rules for the most part, when I was around my brothers and sister, we fought and argued constantly. How did you and Dad ever put up with us? I don’t know why we fought so often, but we did. You must have been constantly stressed out. During this time as well, I never understood why I had a curfew, while my other friends did not. I never understood why I couldn’t hang out with certain people and go to certain places while my other friends could. And I never understood why you always put school, family, and God over sports. At the time, I thought I knew everything, and knew what was best for me. But, man! Was I wrong! It took me years to realize that I knew only a miniscule of what you and Dad knew. You had a reason for everything, and nine times out of ten you were right. Why couldn’t I see that at the time?
As I got older and into my adult years, you let me live my life the way I wanted to live and did not interfere, even if you disagreed with it. You let me learn from my mistakes, even if it was the hard way. And let me remind you, I sure did make my fair share of terrible choices and decisions. But you never did tell me “I told you so”, or showed your frustration or anger. Instead, you gave your advice and two cents worth each and every time, and let me carry on with my life. Then one day I made the worse choice I ever made and it sent me to prison. I can only imagine how angry and hurt you were. As always, you were there for me every step of the way, you forgave me, and continued supporting me. You showed unconditional love for me every day of my life, and I know you will until the day one of us moves off this planet.
I remember when I used to ask you what you wanted as a gift for your birthday or Christmas, all you would ever say is “Love.” Although I always did love you, I didn’t show it or say it all the time, so I can’t say I gave you what you wanted. But today, as I write this, I can honestly give you what you have asked for since I was a little kid, and that is Love!
Mom, I love you. You are absolutely irreplaceable. I know it hurt you tremendously when I got sentenced to prison. And it hurt me even more knowing I hurt you. I did not mean to hurt you, and am so sorry. Through it all, you never gave up on me, but you and Dad both continue to share your love and support. I never thought these last few months of my sentence would ever come. But, they are finally here. We will be a complete family again, after 74 long months. No more worrying. No more fears. I’m coming home. I can honestly say that all the life lessons you taught me growing up have really impacted me positively on how I live my life today, especially in prison. I am kind because of you. I am a servant because of you. I show love because of you. My life is Christ-filled because of you. I am who I am today because of you. You and Dad taught me so much. Thank you!
You have been a role model and an inspiration. You are nothing but the best. I’m proud to call you my mother. I can’t wait to see you soon. I’m coming home for good, Mom. I love you. Happy Birthday!