To My Mom

If I am a good mom at all...I first owe it to my mom.

My mom taught us to believe that we could do anything we wanted to. Really. Anything. And she showed us, by working hard to live the type of life we did, even as a single mom. She took us amazing places, she gave us a great home, and she surrounded us with people that would only build us up and give us someone to admire.

She let us march to the beat of our own drum. My name is Kathi Melissa but since I was 5, I've gone by Sam. I came home from school in kindergarten and asked her and my sister to call me "Sam", AND THEY DID.

One of the best things I remember my mom telling me, even as early as the 5th grade, was that "the most popular person isn't the coolest person. it's the person most well-liked by the most people..." I've never forgotten that.

My mom taught me to be brave and adventurous. As far back as I can remember, we have driven back and forth across the country for trips and travel. Yes, my young mom, with two kids under 6 in the car, for drives that lasted for days. Through ice and snow, sleet and hail. I don't know many other people that could do that- without breaking a sweat. I remember thinking that my mom could drive anywhere- that she never got lost. She knew every road in the whole wide world.

She also taught us that looks weren't as important as character. It didn't even occur to me until college that maybe not everyone showed up at school and work and everywhere else with wet hair. She went through a lot and we learned from it that you don't sweat the small stuff.

My mom was, and is, giving. Nikki and I have always known that we are her first priority, that she would do anything for us. Name it, she's there. That sort of support makes you feel confident.

And she worked hard to be happy and joyful. In the midst of loneliness or sadness, we always had a happy home.

There aren't many things that I am today that I don't contribute to my mom and what she has given me.