1. I will teach you how to accept a compliment. When I was a kid I was so embarrassed to be me, that when someone told me something nice about myself, I would argue and convince them that they were wrong. When a person tells you that you are beautiful say, "Thank you, I appreciate your kind words." Never say, "No I'm not."
2. I will show you how to love yourself. Whenever you point out something about yourself that you think is a flaw, I'll tell you five things that are perfect about you.
3. I will help you find your strengths. Everyone has things that are considered weaknesses, but if we focus on the power we have, instead of what we can't do, we will strive as people both individually and collectively.
4. I will encourage you to stick up for yourself. I wasn't born with a confrontation gene so I have never been able to fight for what I deserve, but I will always tell you to command what you deserve. You might not be able to live by example, but you will be able to live by encouragement.
5. I will cheer you on when you are working towards your goals in life. If you decide you want to be a standup comic, I'll laugh the loudest at your jokes.
6. I will inspire you to be kind to everyone. It's important for you to see that not everyone is as fortunate as we are and that it's our duty to help those in need. The hardest people to love, are the one's who need love the most.
7. I will applaud you when you live your authentic truth. Whether you are gay, straight or somewhere in between, as long as you are true to yourself, I will give you all the support I can.
8. I will comfort you when you are sad. There are times in life when things won't go our way and we will need to cry, grieve, and let out our stresses through emotions. I will hold you, kiss you, and love you and tell you that things will get easier. I'll be there when you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again tomorrow.
9. I will advise you to always take pride in your appearance. My mother always told me to put on clean underwear in case you're in an accident, but in truth, you will feel better about yourself when you invest time in looking your best.
10. I will guide you to never say anything to anyone that you wouldn't want said to you. If it would hurt your feelings, it will hurt others. It's not nice to be mean. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
11. I will caution you to never get involved with people who are abusive to you. As soon as you realize that someone isn't being good to you, you need to leave. The best way to handle bad people is to avoid them at all costs.
12. I will prepare you for how to live as a functioning adult. I will show you how to balance a checkbook, how to keep a budget, how to cook and clean, and how to keep a job.
13. I will forewarn you that having an excess of possessions, doesn't lead to happiness. Don't waste money with buying things you don't need with the hopes it will fill a void in yourself. If you feel that something is missing in your life, do some soul-searching, not clothes searching.
14. I will urge you to be a positive person. Find reasons why everything will work out not reasons why it won't. Negativity attracts negativity and then you are in a downward spiral. Surround yourself with light and love.
15. I will show you how to live each day to the fullest. When I thought I was going to die of cancer, I thought of all the things I would miss experiencing if I was gone. Now I am so grateful for every moment I have that I really see it, feel it and love it.
16. I will always make sure you know how important you are to me. I won't let any other person come between the relationship we have. You will always be my child, even when you move out of our house, you will never leave my heart.
17. I will tell you that your life is precious as is everyone's life. We are given this one life to live and prosper. Make it all you can as it's a miraculous journey!
My mother taught me how to be the best me, so I continue the cycle to teach my child how to be the best that she can be. Unfortunately, my mother passed away, but luckily my grandmother and my aunt continue to be a beacon of support to me and our family. To all the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and friends who help raise each other up to be the best we can be, I salute you and thank you for the vows you took to your child and loved ones.