The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Letters to Mom and Dad

DEAR MOM and Dad,

The day you brought me to college was one of the most frightening days of my life. All my life I had worked hard to prove to both of you that I could do it all, all by myself. I could ride my bike, I could finish my school project, I could stand up for what I believed was right. But just in case, you were always there - to give me a push in the Piney Grove Elementary School bus loop, to stay up late putting the finishing touches on my (our) mosaic, to give me a hug but gently remind me that I should pick my battles.

But on that day in August 1998, I was going to have to really do it all by myself for the first time. I wasn't sure that I could let you drive away without me; I wasn't sure that I could make it through that first night in a place that wasn't home; I wasn't sure that I could succeed on my own. The only thing I was sure of is that I didn't want to let you down. But four years later, I can now say that I did succeed. I'm about to graduate and I have not a single regret. I can truly say with confidence that I owe all of it to you.

Dad, I don't think you have any idea how much I admire you. Your dedication to a profession you love has inspired me to find a career that holds for me that same passion. Despite your long days in the office and even longer nights traveling, I have never heard you complain, a temperance I will always strive to achieve. You also have taught me to be proud of who I am, no matter how I look or what other people say. That guidance has gotten me through some of the toughest times in my life, and I can finally say that I am more than proud to be six feet tall. You always remind me to enjoy life - to make light of what is too serious - and that advice has helped me keep in mind what's most important.

Mom, your selflessness, generosity, loyalty and dependability go unmatched, and I only can dream of someday living up to all that you are. You never question my motives or my actions, you listen calmly and handle all my wildest imaginings with grace and steady support. It is because of your unwavering devotion and encouragement that I know I control my own fate. Your company is a pleasure and a privilege - there's no one I would rather spend time with, whether we're singing Alabama in the car or discussing the future on the back porch. You simply are who you are, a quality that is a rare gem. Your sincerity has helped me learn to express myself honestly and without excuse, and to value such genuineness in others.

Both of you have taught me what unconditional love is. The kind of love you have for each other and for Chad and me is uncommon and inspirational. Your love is constant and unceasing no matter the circumstances. You have believed in me even when I haven't believed in myself. You've always told me that I could be whatever my heart desired, and finally I know you're right.

What makes me laugh now is that I know you knew I could do it all along. I hope I've made you proud. I love you.

(Lindsay Means was a 2001-2002 sports editor.)

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