I wrote this letter to my mother for Mothers' Day 1992, and re-read it to her several times during her illness and approach to her death in year 2000.
May 7, 1992
Since I just wrote to you on Monday, there isn't much in the way of news I have to share. I do want you to receive the love behind this greeting, though. I especially want you to know that since last Mothers' Day I have continually appreciated the many values you have given me:
Thank you for teaching me to listen to my own conscience and decide for myself what is right or wrong.
Thank you for teaching me to think critically and strive for understanding rather than blindly accepting the "common wisdom" without question.
Thank you for teaching me the Golden Rule, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Thank you for teaching me to be responsible, to keep my promises to people around me, and to live up to my end of a bargain.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of being a good parent.
Thank you for teaching me the value of honesty.
Thank you for teaching me to respect the innate, God-given beauty of the human body, and for teaching me to regard it as neither an object of shame nor a subject for degrading exploitation.
Thank you for teaching me the irrevocable value of human life; that no matter what mistakes a person makes, he or she is still a valuable human being, worthy and deserving of love.
Thank you for teaching me to always do my best in everything I do.
Thank you for teaching me to be persistent in everything I do, to not give up on any problem without exploring all the options.
Thank you for teaching me to be helpful, to pitch in and get done what needs to be (even if I'm not asked).
And thank you for teaching me to be thrifty, to stash away something for a time of need or for a time of personal renewal.
From these and other teachings, I have woven a personal network of ethics, which have served me well over many years. Thank you.
I love you,
P.S. Cheryl, Matt, Squeaky and Mittens are all fine and send their love.