‘Southern Voices’ is a reader-submitted platform for stories from the heart. Today’s submission comes from Gaby Viner, a soon-to-graduate high school senior in Nashville, TN. If you have a story to tell, see our guidelines for submission here.


Dear Mom,

We are in a strange moment right now. Our world is too. The realities of life during COVID-19 are difficult to comprehend. It is painful to think about the impact of the virus, the death and sadness, the people without enough food, the people stuck in unsafe living environments, the loss of jobs, the loss of loved ones, the racism, and the fear. Yes, our world can feel pretty unfathomable at the moment, but I am feeling grateful. I’m grateful to have a safe home, a loving family, enough food, my own room, and the ability to keep going to school online. Mom, I feel especially lucky to have you.

A young Gaby and her mom | Image: Provided

We’ve now spent the past eight weeks at home together. It has not been easy. We’ve fought and cried. We’ve gone without power and internet. We’ve seen the strains of what we call “too much togetherness.” Because I never expected to watch my senior year of high school end from my bedroom, we’ve mourned too. As a member of the Class of 2020, this is a culminating moment for me. As my mom, it is also a one for you.

As you say, the things that we are missing out on right now are very much losses. And we have grieved. We grieved on the day that was supposed to be my final senior dance recital by watching old dance videos, getting flowers, and eating lots of cookies. We grieved senior prom with Indian takeout and a cheesy chick flick. We grieved that I wouldn’t be going back to high school with lots of tears. Thank you for making these moments special for me, and thank you for being there on the hard, normal days too. You’ve taught me how to overcome loss and how to traverse difficult days with grace.

Image: Provided

In fact, you’ve taught me more than I could imagine in past the past eight weeks. We’ve found new comfort foods while perfecting recipes for cookies, pies, muffins, and banana bread. We’ve cleaned and dusted and spritzed the house down. We’ve done lots of laundry loads. I’ve learned from you that a clean living space makes for a clean headspace. We’ve had family dinners and movie nights, moments that are cherished to an extra degree because I will be leaving for college in the fall. You make sure to show the people you love how much you love them. We’ve gone on long walks and special drives. After bad days, you’ve shown me how to wake up the next morning and give it another try. You’ve taught me that you can be a strong woman, a working woman, a brilliant cook, a loyal friend, and a loving mom all at the same time. We’ve had great conversations about our world, health, hope, and how to help. We’ve celebrated the possibility that lies in the future. We’ve spent this unexpected, extra time together. We’ve hugged.

Image: Provided

My childhood is marked by moments of Mommy Magic. We coined the term together for instances when you could fix any problem. Mommy Magic comes in lots of forms. It has been a towel for after the pool when I forgot one. It is often a nudge or a wink from across the room. Recently, it’s been holding hands. Although we don’t use the phrase Mommy Magic as often as we used to, I feel it now more than ever. We were right, motherhood is magical. It is sacred and powerful and essential. It is magic that continues to shine when we are faced with strange moments and the world is too. Now, our strange moment calls for us to stay home and spend time together that we may not have spent together otherwise. I feel lucky to have this extra time with you, to witness your magic, and to soak it up.

So, thank you Mom, and happy Mother’s Day. It’s going to be okay. I promise.

I love you so much,


Gaby is a former StyleBlueprint intern. She loves to dance, eat good food, travel, write, and learn languages, especially French and Arabic. She is a senior at Harpeth Hall School and is attending Barnard College in the fall.