Words from the Heart for Mother’s Day

Local teen writers help us celebrate Mother’s Day

11

For many of us, it started with that grainy black-and-white image from an ultrasound, when our hearts burst with more love than we could ever imagine at the thought of growing our families. 

When that first little chubby-faced smile appears and lights up your life, and later the painted handprints arrive home from preschool with “I LOVE YOU” written in big block letters honoring you for Mother’s Day, these small milestones—huge to us moms—represent our children’s expressions of their love for us.

But when those kids grow up and learn to express themselves to us with their own words, the pride and love they give us is priceless. 

This year we partnered with Sara Wilson and the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation in honoring mothers, asking teen participants in LRJF writing programs to pen letters to Mom. Some will make you tear up and some will make you laugh, but all of the heartfelt sentiments behind these beautifully written letters are sure to move you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sophia Cetrulo, 10th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with mom Brenda Cetrulo. Photo by Eric Striffler
Sophia Cetrulo, 10th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with mom Brenda Cetrulo. Photo by Eric Striffler

Dear Mom,

Do you remember the first time you sang to me of a rose, sweet but hard to find? A ballad of a lonely winter I would never know while snuggled up in your arms. The warmth of your love, akin to the ocean on a summer’s day, has guided my drifting through childhood. You held my hand, teaching me the secrets of the water, both close and far away, so that any puddle would seem familiar and remind me of home. When you showed me the lake that had been your sanctuary amongst swaths of rolling hills, I too, found peace in its emerald-green waters. With each swim, I grew closer to you, reliving your childhood memories stroke by stroke. And when I would leave the lake and venture into Camp, my feet would walk the same dusty paths up Campfire Hill, my mouth would sing the same songs, learning word by word of the sweet roses, golden daffodils, and blossoms still clinging to their vine. Melodies melted on my tongue, sweet as the fresh mulberries growing just behind my cabin.

I savored the joy of the years spent amidst the happy nostalgia of your past, growing to know you from thousands of miles away. And still, I grow, through “wisdom, stature, God, and man,” the cornerstones of life at Camp, through laughter, song, and days spent in the glimmering lake. On Friday night, when all of Camp is asked to reflect through the golden flickers of candlelight, I always picture you. Thank you for teaching me about all the love you have to give. And thank you for teaching me how to give love to you.

Love, Sophia

Rachel Estillore, 12th grader at Vero Beach High School, with mom Simonette Sambrio. Photo by Eric Striffler
Rachel Estillore, 12th grader at Vero Beach High School, with mom Simonette Sambrio. Photo by Eric Striffler

A Recipe for My Immigrant Mother

In the mess of my kitchen, guarded by endless piles of unopened envelopes and the occasional sandwich bag, lies my family’s greatest possession: my mother’s recipe book. The book itself is a hefty, unattractive thing, stuffed to the brim with odd bits of paper and yellowed pages jutting out in weird angles. My sister and I had saved up both our birthday and Christmas money to buy the old thing, back when we were much smaller and forcibly unemployed (we were 12). The book hadn’t meant much to us, who had bought it at the click of a button, but my mother had loved it. She covered every inch of paper with recipes that we would inevitably hand down to our own children, just as she handed this dusty, wooden book to us. With it, she passed down her banana bread, a recipe she perfected through trial and many errors (resulting in several inedible loaves living in our fridge for a while, hard as rock). There was a recipe for ube cake and fresh lumpia, an homage to our Filipino heritage. But hidden amongst the pages, in between the lines of ingredients and instructions, was a recipe to make my mother. It read:

One woven palm for the church she frequented, taped to the dashboard of her car

A sprinkle of nostalgia in the kitchen, bay leaves and cheap butter simmering on the stove

The whole container of sarcasm (and maybe extra)

Three rushed kisses out the door on her way to work

One sacrifice, four plane tickets

And the love only a mother could give.

By Rachel 

Mia Perez, 8th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with mom May Sauri. Photo by Eric Striffler
Mia Perez, 8th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with mom May Sauri. Photo by Eric Striffler

Mothers Are Like Seasons

Mothers are like seasons,

Warm, bright, sweet, like spring,

A bright, blooming tulip in a field of green,

A careful touch, of a mother’s sweet love,

Blissful days, lying in the sun,

A warm feeling, familiar feeling,

That of a mother’s touch,

Which could heal such sorrow and bring much fun,

Like summer, they are full of gleeful joy,

Like a day at the pool, splashing and dashing,

To fulfill summer’s days, with much joyful play

A mother makes sure you’re happy, every day,

When playing outside, feels different than spring,

You go inside, enjoy cool, crisp air,

From sweat and heat to brisk days of play

Mothers take that pain away,

A lovely walk through red-orange trees,

Hearing the crunch of dead fallen leaves,

A cold autumn breeze, blowing right by your face,

Mothers warm you with a soft embrace,

Not wanting to rake the leaves in the yard,

Pouting and crying, like when you were four,

Doing your chores with a sorrowsome face,

Discipline, an important trait,

Icy, bitter, days full of snow,

Making snowman, the feeling that grows,

As each tiny snowflake starts to fall,

Winter is cold, but fun for all,

Her caring ways,

Her loving smile,

Mothers are like seasons, they can change,

But her love for you stays for a while.

By Mia

Addison Logemann, 11th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with mom Sarah Logemann. Photo by Eric Striffler
Addison Logemann, 11th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with mom Sarah Logemann. Photo by Eric Striffler

Dear Mom,

You have always taught me to stay true to myself. Since I was little you would warn me not to change for others, because you will always find your people, the people who love you for who you are. You are the most confident woman I know, and your confidence has rubbed off on me, teaching me to stay true to myself. It was not only your confidence that allowed me to feel comfortable in my own skin but the environment you created around me. Recently, I have realized that it is not only our home that provides this safe feeling, but it is you. Every time I am near you I immediately feel calmer and accepted, and I hope to one day gain the same quality.

All of my favorite memories of us revolve around the television. In our most recent TV venture, Gilmore Girls, the main characters, Lorelai and Rory, are mother and daughter. Unlike most mothers and daughters, their relationship lies more on the side of sisters or best friends. They can tell each other anything without judgment, and they always know they can depend on one another. We are Lorelai and Rory. You are the person I know I can go to with any problem, the person I can tell the same story to a hundred times and trust that you will never get bored, and the person who I am fortunate enough to call my mother.

Along with our obsession with Gilmore Girls, I have always admired your willingness for adventure. For small adventures such as Target runs or bigger ones such as skiing down a double black diamond to find your daughter’s ski poles, you are always the first to say “yes.” This quality, along with many lessons you have taught me over the years, is something I hope to bring with me through my life and hopefully teach my own children one day. You are the most amazing person, and I hope your Mother’s Day is as incredible as you. I love you so much!

Sincerely, Addison

Dylan Orzechowski, 11th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with mom Vanessa Orzechowski. Photo by Eric Striffler
Dylan Orzechowski, 11th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with mom Vanessa Orzechowski. Photo by Eric Striffler

Mom, 

You stand out in my life as a role model—someone who teaches me a work ethic, someone who always demonstrates compassion, and someone who makes my life and many others’ better every day. Personally, I think that your best and most admirable quality is your selflessness. When you are at your worst, your first concern is making sure that your family is at their best. Whether it is vacations in the Bahamas over the summer or Christmases in Vero Beach, every special event and holiday is always planned flawlessly. That is all for the enjoyment of our family. The sacrifices that you and Dad make on a daily basis stand as motivation for me. Your emphasis on putting school first has helped me become more successful in the classroom. It is really special to say that you are the person to whom I give both my best and worst news. Whatever the outcome of life is, you are always there to support me. At the end of Toy Story 3, Andy says this about Woody: “The thing that makes Woody special is that he’ll never give up on you.” In my life, you have played the Woody figure. Through the best and the worst, you are my go-to person and you have not let me down. I know that you think of college in just a short year and a half and get teary-eyed, but trust me, you should enjoy the break. Your work as a mother has surpassed any and all expectations.

Love, Dylan

Charlie Cappelen, 8th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with stepmom Cami Cappelen. Photo by Eric Striffler
Charlie Cappelen, 8th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with stepmom Cami Cappelen. Photo by Eric Striffler

Dear Cami,

Even though you are not my biological mother, you have always treated me as you would your biological children. I appreciate how you have raised me for over half my life, and I loved to watch you grow as a mother when you had Milly and Maverick. Thank you for not giving me any advantages in lacrosse as your daughter during practices or games but pushing me to work hard outside of practice. Getting to experience having you as a coach who is not afraid to point out what needs work and how I can fix that and as a mother who cheers me on and is there to listen to my post-practice rants is one of the things I love most. My favorite part of the day is the car ride home with you, listening to music and venting about my day. I’m so grateful that you listen to me, know when I’m not feeling great, and understand how to handle me in those situations. You do an excellent job of helping me de-stress by teaching me how to organize and balance my commitments, such as school and sports. Showing me how to make tough decisions is another skill we are still working on due to my indecisiveness, but you are incredibly patient with me, and we are getting there. I want to thank you for everything you have done for me in the past. And no matter what it looks like, I am excited to see what happens in our future.

Love, your bonus daughter, Charlie

Savannah Ray Brown, 11th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with mom Frances Brown. Photo by Eric Striffler
Savannah Ray Brown, 11th grader at Saint Edward’s School, with mom Frances Brown. Photo by Eric Striffler

Hey Mom

Hey mom, are you proud?

Proud of who I am or the person I’m becoming?

You say you are and I long to visualize

I see it in your smile lines and your clover green eyes

They sparkle with compassion even when I look my worst

You tell me that I am beautiful and that I make your world go round

The street seems to always go both ways

I see a mirror when we converse

And a fire when you wrap me with your arms like a wool blanket

Petrified to see me go

I am nearing the age of you when you left home

I never let you know but it scares us both

Me starting a life and you watching me in place

I will always long for your fiery red hair

You tell me you’re afraid of me growing tall and branching away

But how could I ever when I love you so?

Mom, are you proud?

Are you proud even when I am ashamed?

When I know I’ve done wrong?

I see you grab a shovel to help me

Help me dig out of the holes I’ve created.

You have taught me to reach for the stars

To never settle for less than the moon

I touch the clouds, our fingers intertwined

I ask you fruitless questions and you answer softly

For the lessons I’ve learned have all been from you 

By Savannah

Facebook Comments