Love Letters to Mom: Rachel Van Dyken

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[Note from Frolic: In honor of Mother’s Day we are having a few of your favorite authors write a love letter to their moms. First up we have the incredibly talented Rachel Van Dyken!]

Mom (mama), 

You told me from a young age I could be whatever I wanted to be. You made me promise to keep God and family first, and I still remember the nights you’d pray away the monsters while I slept. From a young age I knew I came from a special line of women, women who were fierce, women who didn’t take no for an answer and didn’t apologize for being leaders of their generation. The wisdom that you’ve  been gifted with isn’t just tangible, it comes from your mother and her mother, like magic passed down between the families, you kept it alive in your heart and gave it to me and my sister. I knew that when I went to school I was supposed to smile at everyone, genuinely ask if my friends were okay, support my teachers, do my best to learn and use every opportunity given to me. You raised me to be a worker not a quitter, and you always made sure that you ended our conversations with, “I love you most,” just in case something happened to you in between the times we would see each other. It was always your greatest fear, that you would leave this earth without me knowing how deep, how wide, how severe and protective your love was for me. 

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You never had to worry about that. 

You still don’t. 

But I love you the mostest anyways. 

You taught me to be brave, to stand up for what I believe in, to speak for others who were silenced, and you told me the greatest gift you would ever give me wasn’t your just your love, but confidence. You said it had nothing to do with what was on the outside, but what was on the inside. Confidence, you claimed, came from your heart, from knowing who you are, where you come from, and who you represent. To this day it makes me smile, because even when I had crooked teeth, fluffy bangs, and ate my body weight in ding dongs you’d hold me tight and say I was beautiful. ‘You were talking  about my heart and it made me realize that the outside was fleeting, but inside, was forever. 

I will never be able to truly express what your love has done to me, but Id like to think that you can tell, I’d like to think that every time we  hug or talk on the phone you see the shape of my heart and know how much it matches yours–because thats what love does, it creates, it forms, it stretches like clay and it molds into something beautiful as long as the person molding the love is selfless, and you are, one hundred percent the most selfless person I’ve ever known. 

Thank you for showing me what it takes to be a woman of courage. 

Thank you for being you. 

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Most of all, thank you for being my mama. 

Happy Mothers Day. 

Rachel

Debase by Rachel Van Dyken, out now! 

With blood on my hands, I held her.
With death in my soul, I took from her.
With the devil in my heart, I coveted her.

There are many definitions of Hell.
My list was exhaustive, my definitions tragic.
Tonight I was adding something new to the very top.
Girl number six thirty-two.

She arrived on my birthday, the same day, every year, I play Russian Roulette and pull the trigger.
She was my omen.
My end game.
She made it personal.
And for the first time in my life, I gave in.
A virgin mob boss with no soul.

My name is Andrei Petrov.
They call me the devil.
All I want is for the pain to end.
All she wants is for me to share it.

I am the last remaining heir to a dynasty that should burn in Hell.
And my last wish remains for it to die with me.

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