May 6, 2011

Be Our Guest / Kara Gregg

A special Mother’s Day ‘thank you’ from the heart

(Editor’s note: Kara Gregg, a senior nursing major at Marian University in Indianapolis, will be among the school’s 484 graduates on May 7. She wrote the following letter to her mother, Debbie, for her unwavering love and support during college. Kara is the oldest of eight children, and is a member of St. Nicholas Parish in Ripley County.)

Dear Mom,

This weekend, I graduate from nursing school. God is SO GOOD!!! You, Mom, deserve some credit for this achievement as well because this truly was a combined effort—at least in my heart.

Nursing school was such a challenge, Mom, but you know the hardships, determination and sacrifice that it took for me to endure. Mom, through your faith, you have given me the gift of wanting to draw closer to our Lord, and for that I am so thankful.

While nursing school has shown me joy, there have been great trials and suffering, too. Mom, you have taught me what the word “suffering” really means as you fully rely on the Lord.

By embracing his cross and uniting our own struggles with his, you were there to remind me that “when we are hurting or weak is when Jesus draws us closest to him.”

Thank you, Mom, for your comforting words. You will never understand the depth of peace and love I found in them.

As I reflect over the past four years of college, there are many memories of you that come to mind that hold a special place in my heart. To you, they may have seemed like “little acts of love” like St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, but to me, Mom, your acts of love surrounded me with Christ’s embrace.

I found them in your letters in the mail every now and then, encouraging me.

When I did come home to visit, you and the rest of the family always greeted me with open arms. I loved how the little girls ran out to my car to greet me. Thank you also for letting me take groceries from home. You are so giving, Mom—even if I did clear out the fridge or take all the toilet paper when I left.

I also looked forward to your 7 a.m. “good morning” texts, telling me that you loved me. When you would send really long texts, it would make me laugh because I would picture you on the couch at home taking 15 minutes to type out a text message.

I have saved some of your texts from the past several years. One of my favorite texts from you is this one: “I love you and am always here for you. I know your frustration right now, but hang in there and persevere. God has brought you this far, and will be with you until the end. God alone. Trust in him. He has a plan for you, and wants to give you his peace and joy. God bless you and keep you.”

I will always remember your patience while we talked on the phone. Almost every night, we would share about our days. Most of the time, you let me take up most of the conversation. You were always so selfless, Mom, so giving of your time.

Most of all, it was your prayers that I valued the most. You taught me to pray from the heart. When I would call in the mornings before every nursing exam, you would say to the little girls as they were sitting at the table eating cereal, “OK, Kara has a big nursing exam. We all need to pray.” Then you would lead us in prayer. Mom, you will never know how much that meant to me. It gave me peace and comfort.

All in all, Mom, you inspire me to be all that I am, all that God has called me to be.

Mom, you truly are one of the greatest people that I know. Thank you for giving me the gifts of life, faith and love.

We did it, Mom. We got me through nursing school! I love you, Mom. God bless.



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