I Did It Mom!

Readers, I know I know, Mother’s day was over 2 weeks ago.  But as I drove home from my Mom’s house on Mother’s Day after taking her out to dinner, I felt overcome with the need to thank her.  I do thank her in person of course, but our personal interactions are, let’s say, more complicated.

So I set out to write a thank you tribute.  Then it got lost in a technological meltdown.  So I wrote it again.  A late thanks to my Mom is probably ‘appropros’ for me, but something I’m striving to be more in the moment with.

So here’s to my Mom, and Mom’s everywhere.  We love you.

Dear Mom,

Can you believe this?  I’ve done it.  I think I’m kind of set for life.

Yep, I kind of can’t believe it either.  I know, we didn’t have too much when I was growing up, but you and Dad made ends meet.  You knew that public schools in a city like Baltimore would be assured failure, so you sent me elsewhere, even though you couldn’t afford it.  It was a sacrifice.

And here I am – the first person in the family to graduate college, because of you!   Where would I be without you?

I did some really stupid shit.  I was far from an angel.

Remember when me and the Libertino boys almost set the woods on fire?  How about that time I came home drunk and collapsed in the backyard, throwing up?  Or the times we were chased by the cops, for doing things I still really don’t want to tell you.


The schoolyard fights, the sketchy friends, the sketchier girlfriends.  You somehow knew when to tighten the vice grip on my B.S., and when to let go.

You made sure I wasn’t spoiled, and that I earned it.  You nurtured, but dished out tough love too.

I had no clue then, but I see it now.  How did you know?

My success grew from the seeds you planted.  Damn, look at me Mom, I might be rich!  Can you believe it!

Our little family was always the underdog.  Nothing seemed to go our way.  But all that time I was screwing up and failing, I was taking notes too. 

I was adjusting the rudder, using the GPS coordinates you gave me.  And shit, it worked!

I don’t have everything figured out for sure, far from it.  But I have money figured out, and that’s freeing me up to tackle the rest.

I don’t even have to work anymore if I don’t want – can you believe that!?  The concept of not having to work must be alien to you.  You were born in 1929, the year everything changed for America.  You grew up with little.  

But you taught me to learn from that, and to make my destiny different.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

I have more than I’ll ever need, and lots of life left to enjoy it and do good.  I wish I could use what I’ve made to repay you, but I know you wouldn’t accept it anyway.  Your pride in what I’ve accomplished shows, and is enough for you.

You have enough, and I have enough.  And there’s no better place to be.


Your Son

Accidental FIRE

I reached financial independence and semi-retired in my mid-40's through hard work, smart living, and investing. This blog chronicles my tips and advice to help you do the same.

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28 Responses

  1. Wait, i think there’s something in my eyes. Someone cutting onions in here? Very nice!

  2. Doc G says:

    You can never repay your parents for what they have given you (Good and bad). Sounds like you got a good mom. I’m sure you look out for her too!

  3. Awe!!! That’s so sweet! I want to know why you chased from the cops! 🙂

    • Accidental FIRE says:

      Ok, I’ll divulge one time. We were perched on a hill overlooking a nearby road getting set up to throw snowballs at passing cars. We had a snow day from school, so, hijinx. Literally the first car that came was a cop car. We all looked at each other, snowballs in hand, and smiled. Game on.

      So we unloaded on him. He of course jammed on the brakes and started running after us. I was a pretty fat kid and not a fast runner, but I was Usain Bolt that day. We knew the neighborhood and which fences to jump. We won.

      Ahh, my misspent youth…

  4. Susan @ FI Ideas says:

    This is a wonderful letter. Your Mom raised you similar to my parents, frugal and wise, but still letting you hang with people like “the Libertino boys” and play with fire. Letting you take chances and planting seeds. A great tribute, and you’ve made your Mom proud.

    • Accidental FIRE says:

      Thanks so much Susan. And yes indeed, we played with fire often…. in more ways than one 😉

  5. Wonderful tribute. You should both be proud!

  6. Fifteenminutefinancialfitness says:

    Having great parents can set you up for life both financially and emotionally. I’m always super impressed with people who have managed to succeed without the benefits of great parents, and I’m certainly guilty of not being grateful enough to my own.

    Speaking of which, I think I’ll go call my mom….

    • Accidental FIRE says:

      I agree, those who didn’t have great parents and still overcame are amazing. In Baltimore, I saw some of that for sure.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. This is such a lovely post!

  8. xrayvsn says:

    Congratulations on reaching FIRE. It is a testament to how you were brought up and your parents definitely should feel proud of you.

  9. great letter. all these actions look very familiar from my brother from another mother. it’s good to escape all those boneheaded moves of youth, isn’t it?

    • Accidental FIRE says:

      It is indeed Freddy! That story I responded to Tonya with above is a very, let’s say, innocent example of my boneheaded stuff. I won’t go into others. I know you can identify 🙂

  10. Great letter! The lessons our parents taught us and the sacrifices they made no doubt are a huge reason why we are all in the place we are today. It’s very important to recognize that and give thanks and appreciation!

  11. To know one’s child is secure is definitely a blessing to a mom.

  12. What an awesome tribute to your mom. I think we all screwed up a bit as kids, but we lucked out with some awesome moms for sure.

  13. BusyMom says:

    That was so nice… I wish I could write something that well. Really curious about what the cops were chasing you for 😉

    • Accidental FIRE says:

      THANKS Busy Mom! If you want one of the more innocent stories see my response to Tonya’s comment above. I’ll have to keep the juicier ones to myself for now 😉

  14. “How about that time I came home drunk and collapsed in the backyard, throwing up?”
    I saw this scene on some TV movie before, was that you?!

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