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Thank you, Mom

Chris Hine | Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Like millions of other sons across the country who are away from home, I called mom to wish her a happy Mother’s Day on Sunday. Only mom couldn’t talk for too long. We chatted for a minute, I told her I loved her, said “Happy Mother’s Day,” and we hung up. The following day, May 11, was her birthday.

Once in a while our family gets a double whammy and her birthday and Mother’s Day fall on the same day. This year, they came back-to-back.

Again, I called her, but again she couldn’t talk for too long, not because she didn’t want to talk, but because both times I called her, she was working. On her birthday, she was working her regular Monday-Friday, full-time job. On Mother’s Day, she was working at her part time job.

There are some days when mom works 15-hour days. She works from 9-5, then has about an hour or so to get to her part-time job, where she works until about 11:30 p.m. Then she comes home around midnight and has to wake up in time to get to work at 9 a.m. again. Also, her weekends are rarely free. This weekend is one of the few where she doesn’t have to work. She switched with someone and took that Mother’s Day shift so she could come and see me graduate.

She’s been doing this now for about six years, all so our family can have a little extra money and I can go to Notre Dame.

Mom, there’s no way I can ever repay you for the many sacrifices you’ve made for me over the years, and I want you to know that no matter where I go over the next few years, I have you to thank for helping me get here. I know it’s been hard, but without you, I wouldn’t have been able to spend these last four wonderful years of my life at Notre Dame. It’s all because of you and I want everyone who reads this to know that I have the best mother any son could ever ask for.

I still remember the day I got the acceptance letter to Notre Dame.

It was just after grandpa had died (my grandfather was a huge Notre Dame fan) and you and Jennifer went out to meet the mailman as he walked up the steps. You grabbed the envelope and came running inside. I ripped it open and I could barely read past “congratulations” before you mobbed me with a huge hug. No matter how long I live I’ll take that moment with me. Mom, because of your selflessness and your kind heart, I’m graduating from the University of Notre Dame this weekend, the school I’ve dreamed of attending since watching the football games with grandpa all those years. And I’m graduating because you’ve been there with me everyday, mom, making sure I can accomplish that dream. Thank you. And I love you.