Imma may or may not have been my first word. It may not have been the first sound I made but I know that the first step, my first run into somebody’s arms was yours. Not because I remember the moment but because this is what I have been doing since.
I had so much to tell you when I was looking through your pictures but my words are gone now and all I have is tears. There is nothing to say because you know it all, but I wanted to tell you today that you are my inspiration. That when the going gets rough, you are everything I look up to, you are what I want to be when I grow up.
You once stood in front of a large crowd and said: “I am here to tell you a love story” and you told them about the love God has for you, for them, for us.
I am here today to tell you of a love story. A love story drenched with tears, covered in scars but also sprinkled with the glimmering, almost blinding light of joy between a daughter and her mother. You must have heard it once, but it was probably told the other way around.
It must have spoken of the hours a mother has put in to teach her daughter, to comfort her, to be there for her even when there were no words. But this is only half the story. I am here to speak of the other half.
I am glad to have this opportunity, most people don’t get it until they have lost this perfect, at first sight love. Thankfully, I still have you, because I don’t know what I would do without you. So let me tell you of the hours I have spent admiring you. You cooking, you working, you reading, you speaking, you playing or singing or just being you. Let me tell you of the countless times that all I have wanted to do was to call you or see you just to hear your voice or tell you how my day has been. Let me tell you how deeply it hurt when I misused your trust, when I knew I have hurt you, when I let you down. Let me tell you how everything you touch becomes gold, how all I want to do when I come down for the weekend is spend time with you, how even when you are silent I think your words are the wisest I have ever heard.
How perfect is your love for me, there is but one other I know loves me so. Can you count the times you held me in your arms? Or put me to sleep? Can you count how many hours you spent teaching me? Advising me? Correcting me?
Can you count how many times have you smiled at me? Or cried when I did? How you were hurt for the wounds that I received? How many times have you been proud of me? Protected me? Carried me in your arms even though you could hardly walk yourself?
You carry me on your shoulders daily. You would carry my burdens for me in a second, although you can hardly lift the weight of your own. I cannot fathom the depths of your love for me. It is endless, relentless, always pressing forward but never pressuring.
I am proud to be called your daughter, I am proud to have been a part of your life.
You are beautiful and loving and everything I look up to. You endured storms in life that no one knows of, no one can measure and no one can count.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
I love you.