I ran across this article not too long ago (on Facebook I think), and it brought me to tears; both happy and sad.
You can read the full article from that link, but I've tweaked some of the descriptions to suit my own family below.
My family knows I'm not the best when it comes to using my words, but they also know I'm the sensitive one of the family; right there with my mom. I cry at commercials and can be brought to tears just thinking about something I'm passionate about or that I love so much.
And regardless if they think I say it enough or not, I'd like to say it again and elaborate.
First and Foremost... THANK YOU
I am the woman I am today, in large, because of you. You loved me, disciplined me, and have never given up on me. You've supported me and while I know I've disappointed you at times, you have never made me feel less of a person because of it. You've made me feel stronger by learning from it and becoming better.
You've given me everything I ever needed and I could never tell you enough how much I appreciate all of those things.
You never made me feel privileged in a way that brought others down or made me think I was invincible.
You've both worked so hard to provide for your children and rarely complained. You taught us that with hard work, ambition, honesty and respect, you can go far in life. While I know you sacrificed at times, you never put that burden on your children. So, thank you for the roof over our heads, the clothes on our backs, the love and support and respect you showed us, the encouragement and amazing experiences that you were able to give us(even if I only remember a few of those experiences ;)). All the practices you drove us to and being our cheerleaders in the stands. Recitals you attended, carpools you helped with, sleepovers and birthday parties you put together. You've always let us make decisions on our own; learning consequences and triumphs. Thank you for never giving up on us and for being the kind of parents that at the end of the day, we always knew(and still know) we could go home at any time; when we needed you. You're inspiring and I hope that I can be half the parents you were to us someday.
I think about you every day
Even when I get busy and caught up with everything in my hectic, almost 30 something life, I’m always thinking about you. I know that sometimes it seems like I don’t make enough of an effort to stay in touch, but I always have you on my mind.
I truly appreciate every single thing you have done for me
I know I don’t say this enough, but I am so very grateful for every single thing you have done for me.
Even the small things don’t go unnoticed, and I never forget to say a little thank you in my head, even if I forget to say it to you.
How would I have done my taxes without you, Dad? How would I have known how to mend a broken heart without you, Mama? How in the world would I have made it through all those tough times without either of you. I cherish every single act of kindness because I know you love me more than anything in the world. You both have celebrated every accomplishment and every low and I'm really gratefully for that.
I love you both more than there are stars in the sky
I do my best to tell you often, but I can’t really communicate how much I love the both of you. I am so blessed to have you there for me; whatever I choose to do.
Even when you aren’t here anymore, my strength to carry on will be because of you. I love both of you — never forget that.
I know how much you’ve sacrificed for your children
And, I can’t imagine how hard those sacrifices must have been for you. Having children means putting them before yourselves; it means putting their needs ahead of yours and always making decisions based on what’s best for them. I can’t stomach the idea that you would ever question whether or not I appreciated all you gave up to make my life better. And all you continue to do to support me on a daily basis.
I am a better person because I was given the two of you as parents
I have you two to thank for the way I turned out: Strong willed and passionate. The two of you are forces to be reckoned with, and I adore your kindness, your fire and your compassion.
You taught me how to love, how to fight and how to believe in myself. Had I been given other parents, I would not be who I am today.
I know that you’re aware that I love you both and that I respect you as my parents. But, I want you to know how much I respect you as people; as citizens of the world. You are the people I look up to the most; you are my heroes.
Thank you for always letting me be me
I want you to know how much I appreciate you supporting me and allowing me to decide things on my own. I am grateful for the opinions you gave, yet having the strength and knowledge to know when to stand back and let me figure it out on my own. I cannot imagine how hard that had to be as a parent; to watch your child hurt or walk into a situation that was wrong... But, I never would have gotten through certain phases of my life without you. You've been my rocks and my cheerleaders through it all and you've taught me how to love in a whole new way. Know you've done a good job raising both your daughters. We're not perfect, but you've done a hell of a job teaching us independence, respect, support, trust, love, and what family really means.
I have nightmares about losing you
I know that I must face the facts, that you won’t be around forever and that I will have to live a parentless life one day. I have nightmares about losing the two of you and I want you to know how much you both mean to me. When the two of you are gone, I know that the daughter you raised will be strong enough to live on, but I’ll never be the same and it’s important to me that you know.
It won’t be goodbye, just see you later
Even when you’re gone, you’ll always be with me. I need to remind myself of this frequently. You may not be here with me physically, but you will always live on in my heart.
I want to always remember the little, tinniest things and hold pieces of you with me, always. It’s a slight comfort to remember this because when we lose the ones we love, they’re never really gone.
I know we all understand this for the people we've lost over the years. I know you'll be reunited and watch over me.