It was 30 minutes before the wedding ceremony and I could hear the band playing softly in the background. You came in the bridal suite and took my hands in yours, tears spilling down both of our faces. You whispered to me how beautiful I looked and called me your little girl. You told me how many years you had been praying for someone like me to come along. How many years you prayed your son would marry someone like me. It was the mother-daughter moment I always dreamed of having on my wedding day, the one I never thought I would have.
From the moment I started dating your son, you called me daughter. I was never a daughter-in-law to you. You loved me as if you were the one who had given birth to me. When I needed someone to talk to, you were always there to offer a word of encouragement and you never thought listening to me was a burden or obligation. You listened because you cared for me. You never spent time with me because you felt like you had to, you simply enjoyed being around me.
You called me daughter because that’s just who you are. Your heart is full of love for other people. When you called me daughter, you didn’t know how much it meant to me. You couldn’t possibly have known how much healing you brought to my heart, or how you were a part of God fulfilling a promise He gave me years ago.
You didn’t know that when I prayed for my future husband, I prayed he would have a mom like you. You couldn’t possibly have known just how much I needed you. You just did it because that’s the kind of amazing woman you are.
Even though there was damage you couldn’t mend and heartache you couldn’t fix, you fulfilled the longing I had my entire life: to have a mother who loved me and wanted the best for me. For a mother who would love my children. For a mother who would tell me she was proud of me. I don’t know exactly why my biological mother didn’t have those qualities and I’m sure I never will, but if there’s one thing I know about God, I know that He is good. I knew I wasn’t at the end of the story yet.
Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and tell my 5-year-old self to have courage. I wish I could tell her to hold on to hope because things will get better, so much better, one day. I wish I could tell her one day she would have a mom who loved her for who she was. But even though I can’t go back in time, when I met you, that 5-year-old girl was still inside me somewhere. Thank you for giving her the love she needed and thank you for giving me the love I needed, too.
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