A Letter to My Mom for Mother’s Day

me and my mom

 About eleven years ago, my mom was diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer. Since then, it’s been a long battle with numerous surgeries, therapies and everything else that comes along with the disease. Her cancer recently returned and yet again, she grounds herself with indomitable strength and optimism. Through it all, my mom has been a shining light of inspiration and hope. This is my letter to her and to others out there in her situation that continue to hold the light and face their adversity head on. 

Mom, this is for you….


Dear mom,

On this mother’s day I’d like to take time to express my gratitude for all that you have taught me through the years. The last decade or so has brought a lot of change to our family and through it all you’ve been a shining light of inspiration as you face whatever comes your way with grace and courage. I know it is not always easy, but your fighting spirit and uplifting attitude has carried not only you, but our entire family as well. I don’t think you give yourself enough credit for your strength and it is with this letter that I try to illuminate your shining spirit for all to see.

Frankly, I don’t know how you’ve done it, how you’ve been so strong through it all. Perhaps you felt like you had no other choice. Given the options, I think taking the high road and facing this whole cancer thing head on is way better than lying down and letting it take over you. Sometimes I wonder if I would I be as strong as you if I was in your situation. Would I be able to move through every treatment, every good day, every bad day with such hope? I’m not sure of the answer, but I would like to think I get that fighting spirit from you. Thank you.

You are so quiet about it all (well, you’ve never really been quiet, but you know what I mean!) and we’ve never really talked about it. It’s like, hmm, yeah, I’ve got cancer, so? Wow! That’s amazing. I remember when we found out about the cancer and even though I recall being sad, what I really remember was the way you wouldn’t take no for an answer. You just never stopped believing that you were going to get better. You realized that there was more life out there for you and although it’s been tough, you’ve done your best to live it as fully as you can. Thank you for never giving up.

Besides all that, I want to let you know that I love you very much. Thank you for being you and for bringing me into this crazy-ass world. Thank you for letting me make mistakes and being there to support me through my big “uh oh” moments and for the “yay” moments too. Thanks for not being as hard on me as I am on myself. Thanks to you and dad for working so hard all those years to provide for our family. I truly appreciate all you have done and it has not gone unnoticed. Thank you for your good advice and giving me the freedom to take life by the horns and live it the way I want to, not the way everyone else thinks I should. Thank you for the good times, bad times, hard times and fun times. Thank you for every breath, every moment, every hug, every tear, every kiss, every smile, everything. They’ve all made me the woman I am today and I hope I make you proud. I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye, but thank you for that too.

What I’ve learned through all of this is that we are not really our bodies. We are not really our minds. We are the eternal spirits that carry us forward as beacons of light and erudition. We are so much more than this space, but with awareness for all that we are not, we come to know all that we are and begin to celebrate every day and every breath with gratitude and compassion. Thank you for being that light, whether you know have been or not.

Mom, I love you.

Your daughter,


  1. 1

    brittanie says

    rachel. this is beautiful. thank you for sharing with all of us. and for being so open and honest with your love and gratitude for your mother. love! xo

  2. 3

    Anonymous says

    This sounds exactly like me, the words everything about this letter is me and my mothers closeness. Beautiful letter <3 Our mothers are beautiful people that touch our hearts in every way X

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