She’s always been there. 

To feel my kicks as I grew in her womb. Taking up space and residence in her body, my heartbeat and hers intertwined in that sacred space. 

To sing me lullabies, hold me close, and wipe away my tears. 

She’s always been there. 

To nurse me in the middle of the night, when all of the world was asleepexcept for the mothers who wake, groggy and heavy-lidded, to care for their new baby’s needs. 

To teach me life lessons, both great and small.

Like the importance of kindness, and that if you don’t have something nice to say, you really shouldn’t be saying anything at all. 

She’s always been there. 

To teach me right from wrong. To help me up after falling down. To bandage my boo-boos, dry my eyes, and encourage me to get up and keep trying.

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To comfort my hurting and broken heart after my dad moved out. And to become my punching bag when my world felt like it was crumbling, and she was the safest place for my angry words and sobs to land. 

She’s always been there. 

To give me the boundaries and space I needed to explore. But never so much I couldn’t find my way back again. 

To listen to me scream and yell as I ran down the hall and slammed the door, filled with teenage angst. 

She’s always been there.  

To show me what it looks like to forgive. And what it means for a broken heart to mend as she fell in love with my stepdad and said “I do” again. 

To cheer me on. To lift me up. To celebrate my successes. And comfort me in times of grief and heartache. 

She’s always been there. 

To help me pack up my belongings and watch as the items went one by one from shelves into boxes. To set up my dorm in college. And to wave goodbye and drive away as the tears streamed down both of our cheeks. 

To watch me grow. And to set me free. 

She’s always been there. 

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To model what it looks like to care for an aging parent. To love my grandma in her time of grief after my grandpa died. To pack up her belongings and bring her into our home to live. Watching her as her health deteriorated from cancer and staying by her side until her final breath. 

To help plan my wedding after I said yes, and shed tears of joy when I said “I do” to my very best friend. And loving him from that moment on as if he were her own. 

She’s always been there. 

To put her hand on my stretching and growing belly and feel the squirms and kicks of her grandchildren. Just as I had once kicked her. 

To love her grandchildren with all of her heart. To read them stories and sing them songs. To bring them candy and cheer them on in all they do. To be there for them as they learn and grow.

She’s always been there. 

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To guide me. To comfort me. To teach me. To encourage me. To remind me of what’s important. And of what is not worth thinking about anymore. 

To hug me. And hold me. The first person to feel me. To know me on this earth. To love me in the special way that is reserved for her and her alone. 

She’s my mom. 

And she’s always been there.

Previously published on the author’s Facebook page

Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen.