As I leave home, I realize that as big of a deal as this is for me, it is a milestone for you as well. These past few years, I have challenged and tested you. I was trapped in my own struggles and I took them out on you. I told you I was misunderstood, to see what you could understand. I told you I didn't care, so I could see you'd still be there. You didn't recognize me, but you stuck around because my mother knew I was still in there somewhere.
You recognized my accomplishments, big and small, and always had a way to express your pride. As you supported my independence, you watched me fall down, make mistakes, and try to handle everything on my own. You still stood by, ready to pick me up when I needed you.
You made sure I was happy at home and supported in school. You did so much, but you still questioned how much more you could do. I grew up these past few years, and I grew up fast. As I fought my anxieties and my inner demons, a part of me knew I wasn't truly in this alone. You gave me confidence, hope, and reminded me where I am going.
I rode the roller coaster that seemed to be controlled by life itself. It took time before I was able to realize how much control I had over that roller coaster. Then I was able to lift myself up again. I thank you for staying by me and believing in me, even when I have doubted myself.
I leave so soon, but I hardly feel I am leaving anything at all. No school, no move, no separation can break our bond. I have a built-in best friend, cheerleader, and my own personal sunshine all within my mother.