I like to think that our relationship is far from typical. (Albeit, most things in my life are atypical.) We didn't play with Barbies, do each other's makeup, or pretend we were princesses. My mom allowed me to be the "unique" tomboyish little Ramona who would much rather play in the mud than play dress up. She didn't judge me when I thought that short, spiky hair was in vogue or when I chose to wear thrift store t-shirts to church. When I was constantly picked on in junior high, my mother would greet me at the door with a hug and a bowl of ice cream. She loved me when I didn't love myself.
When I left for college, I let my mother take the brunt of my mistakes. When I turned my back on everything and everyone I loved, my mother never gave up hope and never quit praying. She saw me through the darkest nights, faithfully trusting that God would keep His promises. Through years of tears, anger, and heartbreak my mom stormed the gates of Hell on my behalf. My mom has been and will continue to be one of my strongest allies and prayer warriors.