Mom,

Look what your little Corey is doing now. I got this. Just like you taught me; I am making it happen. I am building an empire for my family. You watched me every step of the way and saw each of my successes and failures even though you would never call anything I did failure. You would say I was just learning or there was something that was hindering it for now, but you knew I was about to overcome it. I can never express to you the magnitude to which you have inspired me or the depths to which you reached me when no one else could. You loved me and in everything I did, you supported me. There was struggles at times, but that was because of your love and protection of me… as a mature man, I thank you for all of that. But thank you isn’t enough… You made me, me.

You always told me that you wanted to be like me… You told me I helped you to know God on a deeper level… That was all what you taught me, Mom. I would tell you and you would never take credit. You taught me to love and know God.

You taught me to never stop reaching out to our loved ones and family even when they turned their backs on us. You taught me it was important to never give up. I have tried to stay connected to the family and reassure Jason that he is on his path and to stay strong and he will reach all of his potential like the good big brother you taught me to be. I have tried to be there for Kyla even though she has not really wanted me to be there; you know how that goes… I have picked up the battle where you left off. I have even tried with Gina and Bubba… They have not responded much. Tadpole stays in contact with me and who would’ve thought, Dad has finally gotten in contact with me. I told him everything you always wanted me to say. He was happy you said those things.

I miss you, Mom. There isn’t a single day that goes by that I don’t miss our phone calls. I just want to hear your voice. I remember you sitting on the edge of the couch singing your heart as you played records throughout the house. There has never been a sound so sweet. You were one of God’s angels that he allowed us to embrace and love, but he needed you back home, in heaven.

Mom, there are so many songs that have new meaning to me now… and movies that have a deeper impact me that they may have before… I take inspiration in my writing on a regular basis from the things that we shared as I was growing up. I think most people don’t even notice… But that always makes me smile because I know you would get the reference no matter how subtle it was.

There is a great quote that so many would recognize and catch right away. I have always thought it was such a powerful and beautiful quote; I think many would agree. This quote although it does not refer to a mom, but a friend… once I looked at life without you, I heard this quote, and it just hit me so much harder.

“I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more gray and empty that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend.”

You were more than just my mom… you were such an amazing friend to me as I grew into an adult and a parent myself. This world was truly so much more beautiful with you in it. The boys remember the things you taught them and we are trying to live the way you taught us and help to make this world around us more beautiful as you always did. You touched people in such a special way and changed them. We are trying to live in that legacy.

I love you, Mom. Kimberly and the boys love you and miss you as well. The boys require me to pray about you every night before bed and every now and then, they need an extra prayer because they miss you and the special bond you had with them.

You always felt as though didn’t do much with your life because of your health… you left a legacy on this world that many will never be able to match… something I know I am extremely proud of.

I love you, Mommy… and I am more proud of you than you ever knew. I will be talking to you again… later today. Never goodbye… talk to you later. Love you.

-Corey

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