My mother would have been 81 years old today. It’s hard to believe she’s already been gone for a year’s worth of phone calls and cards – time really flies when you’re numb.

How to even put into words what she meant to me? When I was a baby, she protected me, fiercely; when I was a child, she loved me, unconditionally; when I was a man, she was proud of me, blindly. Every single day of my life she did nothing but want the best for me, see things in me that I still don’t see, ignored every failure and celebrated every strength. She was hope when I was in pain, she was comfort when I was afraid, and she was love when I was alone.

Never once did she ask a single thing in return. Not once. She deserved a better son than me, but she never complained. She just loved me. The happiest I ever saw her was at my wedding – she was beaming, I mean almost literally glowing. My joy was her joy. And when the traditional dance of the groom and his mother came, despite my being six feet tall and having to bend over almost in half to reach her, I still felt like her little boy. That’s the way she always made me feel.

I miss you Mom. We all do, every day. In the quiet of the night I can still hear your voice, and you’re still always telling me that everything will be okay.

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