Mother’s Day Letters: Kate’s Mama

Dear Mom,

When I was five I made you a mother’s day card and mixed up my “M” and “W”, so instead of “MOM” it said “WOW.” Sure — then it was an understandable mix up — but the universe has a funny way of revealing the truth about people. “WOW” was and still is an appropriate way to think about what kind of mother you are. Kind, steady, wise, creative… you are everything a mother should strive to be.


You’ve told me about a few times that you’ve thought you failed as a mother. Incidents that stick out to you as moments you could have done better. I understand that guilt now that I have my own child better than I ever did growing up, but in your case it’s unfounded.

Sometimes Callie and John and I talk about the perfection of our childhood… our beautiful, calm home. You letting us smash cookie dough between our fingers. The gift of long, lazy days in the summer, and you bringing us trays of snacks and lemonade in the grass. Coming home sick from school, and sliding into the cool sheets of your bed.


In eighth grade, at the height of my struggle with being bullied, I called you from the school office during lunch. You picked me up, swearing that I never had to return to that particular school and see those kids again (and you and Dad kept your word — you had me in another school by the following week).

Hundreds of dreadful school assemblies were attended — with enthusiasm — which should definitely put you in the running for sainthood. The countless, thousands upon thousands of times you told us we were loved and valued, that you would — how did you put it, “let a truck back over me without hesitation before anything happen to you kids.”

I never understood that kind of love growing up. You would tell us that and I would try to think of whether or not I would sacrifice myself without hesitation for anyone that I knew. I liked to think that I would, but I always secretly suspected if I were asked to do it, fear or selfishness would cause at least a little hesitation.

When I had Nolan, I suddenly understood what it meant to truly value another’s life over your own. I wasn’t prepared for how much loving my own son would teach me about how you loved us. After fourteen months (24 months if you count pregnancy) of thinking about him every second of every day, worrying about one thing or another, checking on him, planning for him - it occurs to me that you did the same for us. For 28 years now you have given over your life in concern for us. I understand it now.

Thanks, Mama 


Need more warm fuzzies?
Check out more letters to mom:

Mother’s Day Letters: Alex’s Mama
Mother’s Day Letters: Kate’s Mama
Mother’s Day Letters: Jessica’s Mama

Check back for more letters to our mamas, coming soon!

10 Responses to Mother’s Day Letters: Kate’s Mama

  1. Dear Katie,
    My heart is full. Thank you for your beautiful letter. I love you so much, honey. ~Mama

  2. So heartfelt and lovely! Your mama is a lucky lady! <3

  3. PS: I remember the the letter you wrote at age 5. “Dear WoW.” Hahahaaaa. I bet I still have it somewhere. You were such a sweet kid!!

  4. Liz Montgomery-great aunt! Reply

    What a beautiful tribute!
    As you say, Kate.. when we become mothers, we change. As my ex used to say, “Don’t mess with her children, she’ll come after you like a mother hen”- it doesn’t matter how old you become, you will always be our babies and we will want to protect you.. although there are the times when we can’t, or shouldn’t. We have to stand back and let you do it your way, eventhough it’s different than ours. This is what builds (we hope) strength and character, the ability to stand on your own two feet. We will always be there for you, we will always love you with all our heart..but one has to be independent also.
    There will be times when we “fail” as a mom.. when we feel that we should have done something differently. What you have to remember, is that we too, are human. We err in being human. Every day that God is gracious enough to give us, is another chance to make the best of it.. to start anew and try not to make the mistakes that we made the day before. To become better moms, indeed to become better people. The only person you have to please in the end is the one in the mirror. They know right from wrong- they were taught by their mothers!
    Both of your parents have done the best they could at the moment- as you do. Stand tall, be proud of your accomplishments- there’s no better feeling than to have someone compliment you on your child.
    God Bless sweetie- from where I stand (and from what I read and hear from your mother), you’re doing a great job!
    Auntie Liz

  5. Beautiful letter! Happy Mother’s Day Sue!

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