I'm so lucky to have a wonderful relationship with my mom. I say I'm lucky, because there was a long time when we weren't that close. Now that we are, I so appreciate the relationship that we have.
She's someone that I constantly seek advice from. In the moments after Keith and I found out that his job was placed in New Jersey, she was the one who said, "Kara, if you move out there and it doesn't work out, you can always come back." It's this advice that led me out here and will continue to follow me throughout life. Don't let fear prevent you from trying; if you misstep, you can always turn back. She always tells me what I need to hear, even if it isn't what I want -- like, that finishing my grad school semester will look better on my resume than dropping out.
She's always a safe place for me to turn to. I never feel like I have to hide parts of myself. And, I know that if I do fail, I can always return to her. I know that this makes me luckier than many, and I am so so grateful. I constantly admire her personal strength. She loves wholly and fiercely. If I become half the mom she is, my (future) kids will be just fine. I wish I could be in Minnesota today remind my mom of how much I appreciate her.