By Michelle Spollen
Thank you for being brave enough to bring me into this world, despite not having a man by your side.
For putting your life to the side so that I could have one.
For knowing in your heart that you were ready to be a mom -- a great mom -- despite all the odds stacked against you.
Thank you for loving YOUR parents. You undoubtedly learned the right way to love and care for me from how they treated you.
Thank you for staying close to them, and to your brothers and sisters. I'm so grateful for every one of them, and for the incredibly close family unit we have.
I guess I should thank you for my brother, too. I would've loved being an only child and I'm sure I made that clear growing up (especially after that time he peed in my hair), but he turned out all right.
It's not so bad having someone there who has to be my friend. This is also where I apologize for us ganging up on you in the past -- teenagers, amirite?
Thank you for always having food in the fridge. It would've been so much easier for you to bring us the fast food (we begged for) everyday after being on your feet all day at work, but instead you came home and cooked for us.
(By the way, you're a freaking GREAT cook.)
You worked your ass off to make sure we wanted for nothing.
Sure, I'm still a little sad that I never got those stupid Heely shoes, but we always had the important things.
We never went to school without all the supplies we needed, never had to wear dirty clothes and never woke up on Christmas morning without gifts under the tree.
Even though I hated it at the time, thanks for keeping me in line during my Terrible
I didn't know it at the time (or refused to believe it), but you were shaping me into the responsible, strong woman I am today... Like mother like daughter.
Thanks for making me go away to college even though I wanted to stay home with that boyfriend who's now long gone. It would've been cheaper to let me stay home, but as always you were looking out for Future Me -- the one who got to study abroad across the globe, meet tons of new people and qualify for amazing job opportunities.
I'll stop complaining about student loans eventually, I swear.
I can't begin to imagine how hard it was for you to do everything on your own, but know it wasn't in vain. I hope you know how much you, and everything you've done, mean to me. Given the chance at a family life redo, I wouldn't change a damn thing (except, you know, that one time I got pee in my hair).
I'm certain I don't say it enough, but I love you.
To my single mom, who was there for me everyday: you are my hero.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.