Today, dear, sweet and gentle readers is the anniversary of the birth of my perfect, wonderful, lovely and amazing mother. I would tell you how old she is, but then she'd have to kill me and then I would be dead and she'd be in prison and my children would miss out on the wonder that is her wisdom.
I don't even know how to write about my mom. She is so strong and smart and quick and wonderful that she's very hard to describe. She is tough and sweet in equal measure. She is tequila in a teacup; puffy hearts on a ransom note; petunias on a pistol.
She is my greatest cheerleader and my second biggest critic. In other words, she will always encourage me, but she'll never let me get myself in too deep.
Last week, I had a scare. I thought I was going to lose her. (It turned out okay.) But for a few short terrified moments, I closed my eyes and all I could see was the world without the woman who raised me to be strong, independent, tough, smart and nice if I could manage it. It's a world without romantic comedies and long conversations about absolutely nothing. A world without someone checking on me all the time or calling to tell me it's going to storm. A world without chicken and dumplings and lemon cheesecake. A world without true, unconditional love and I am not ready to live in it.
My mother is my best friend, my oldest friend, and my rock. When I lost my son; when I got divorced, my mother was the one who propped me up and told me that I could survive this. All of this. No matter what this is.
She's always been sure of me. Of who I am and what I'm capable of. She has never let me undervalue myself.
I spent so much of my life, just wanting to be her when I grew up and now that I am (a little) grown up, I'm just glad that I know her. I fall short of her standard, a lot. But she is there - for me, for my girls and forever.
Happy Birthday, Mom. May it be the bestest and the wonderfulest of all birthdays.