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Who knew a blank white page could be so daunting? 

Where do I begin? How do I write something that will adequately explain the impact my mom has on me? 

I suppose I’ll start by mentioning something I’ve written in every Mother’s Day card for the last seven years… which has to do with me ruining that special day back in 2012. 

Allow me to paint the scene. 

After the final blow out with my then boyfriend, I knew I was forced into a rock bottom. There were holes in the beige dry wall and spatters of blood to coincide. My adrenaline was through the roof and my anger right there with it. How did I let myself get here? 

I started frantically shoving my clothes into bags as I pushed the hot, spiteful tears off my cheeks. I didn’t want to call my family. I didn’t want them to know how bad things were. But I didn’t have a choice. “I need help,” I wept harder at the sound of my pathetic voice, and even harder thinking about what my feeble tone did to my mom. 

She was two hours away, so my grandparents came to aid in the collection of my slutty Forever 21 dresses, my drugstore makeup, my Charlotte Russe shoes, and a distressed dresser drawer… I couldn’t be bothered to take the whole thing. 

Full of shame, I trudged ahead towards Prescott in my 1999 white Jeep Grand Cherokee. The beads of sweat started forming on my head within minutes of sitting against the thick black fabric as I changed the station to 104.7. The air conditioning broke three months earlier, which I had zero intention of fixing… I had my vices to fill, despite the fact that each week was hitting over 100 degrees. 

The 101 was welcoming this morning — no traffic — just the sun beaming down onto my sweat covered face. I was finally free. I allowed myself a moment to smile, immediately after, noticing dark smoke force its way from under the hood of my car. 

I pulled off onto the McKellips exit and watched in my rear-view mirror as my grandparents followed closely in their maroon SUV. 


I grabbed a napkin from the glove compartment, wiping my tears, my forehead, and the space between my boobs. This would happen, I thought. 

After securing a tow and meeting my parents near Anthem, we stopped at McDonald’s. I ordered a lemonade and allowed the humiliation to wash over me. 

Happy Mother’s Day… what a great way to spend it. Taking care of your irresponsible daughter that doesn’t have her shit together. 

Let’s put a pause on the train wreck that was 2012 and rewind the clock a bit further now, shall we? 

Circa 1993 — my mom gets me out of a toxic situation with my biological father Circa 1995 —mom’s been teaching me all the things, so I skip kindergarten and jump to first grade Circa 1997 — mom helps me with an amazing report on Rosa Parks and I get another A+ Circa 1998 — I’m rocking baggy orange Limited Too pants with an unnecessary amount of buttons and zippers Circa 1999 — my mom takes me to another dance competition and I learn what happy tears are 2001 — I’m wearing white eyeliner and weird cropped jackets that my mom knew was ugly, but said nothing, allowing me to learn from my mistakes 2002 — my mom throws a surprise birthday party for me and although I enter the party crying, I have the absolute best time Circa 2004 — I sneak back into the house at 1am, through the doggy door, as my mom sits on the couch watching 2006 — my mom plans another birthday party for me, this time at a hotel, where we get in trouble, as two boys are wrestling in the hallway, bashing against other guests’ doors… “just guys being dudes,” I recall one of them saying. Right… Circa 2007 — my mom supports me through my first real heart break as a “friend” starts dating my high school sweet heart 2008 — we enter 120 degree heat and pull into the intimidatingly tall triangle dorm at ASU, where my mom helps me feng-shui the 65 square feet of living space I have.  2009 — my mom comes to watch me perform at the Phoenix Suns stadium Circa 2010 — I call my mom excitedly about my new partner — “I’m in a grown up relationship now!” I tell her Circa 2011 — I dodge mom’s calls because I’m making poor life choices 2012… well, you know what happened. 

Since the year that must not be named, I’ve made big strides to avoid such feelings of guilt, but they’ve come up anyway, and my mom has always met me with love and understanding.

My mom is smart, funny, beautiful, so easy to talk to, supportive, reassuring, the most thoughtful, finds the best bargains, has swoon-worthy handwriting, could be a professional present wrapper, listens better than anyone… are you bored yet? 

Okay, well, truthfully, this isn’t for you… it’s for her. 

I’d like to say I’m going to close with a nice little anecdote, just because I like the word anecdote, but I’m going to turn the direction and talk directly to my mom now, so feel free to ‘X’ out… or copy the verbiage into your Mother’s Day card if you haven’t written yours yet. 

Side note— I was on 1800Flowers today and shipping was like $25… what?! Is that normal? Am I being cheap?… 

Back to my intention — 

Gigi Colleen Sophia Herrera-Zawicki (yes, that’s her full name),

I’ve gifted you enough scrapbooks and poorly written cards over the years. I thought it was time to step my game up and create a blog, publicly gushing about your influence over me, thanking you for who I am today.

Now, what do you say I take you to your first Packers game? I think it’s time, unless it isn’t time and we never have sports back again.

Happy Mother’s Day. I love you past the moon and stars, even when the skies are pink.