She is smart, she is strong, she is wise. She is my best friend. She is my support. She is the one I’d rather spend my time with, she is the one I can always call, always count on.
She is why I can’t smell fried chicken without thinking of her. She worked in a deli when I was growing up and she would come home from work and she always smelled like the chicken she was frying.
She is why people say that I am a good friend. She is the best friend I’ve ever had. She taught me how.
She is why I laugh so much. She taught me to be silly, to have fun, to have a ready smile and a quick laugh. She laughed loud and often. She still does and I am honored when people say that I do, too.
She is why I sing. I know countless little children who giggle when they hear me making up a silly song. When I was one of those “little children” it was she would sing and make me giggle. Before bed it was “Apple cake, apple cake, oooh, I love ya!” And silly faces so we’d drift off to dream with a smile.
She is why I love my birthday. She made them special in the small ways. It wasn’t about the hoopla or the party, it was about me and my place in the family. It was the notes stuck in lunch boxes, surprises I’d never expect, and my favorite meal on my special day. Four kids, four days, four favorite meals. And she never missed. She is why chix and dumplings makes me think of her, and my birthday, and being loved.
She is why I can do anything. She taught me strength by example. She taught me calm, she taught me acceptance. She always believes in me and gave me the ability to believe in myself. She is why I am successful.
She is why I am a librarian. When I was lost and unable to find my way, she let me keep looking. She didn’t interfere, she didn’t point, she didn’t tell me what I needed to know. When every path followed to that same dead end and I ran out of ways to look. I turned to her. I asked. She said, “you’re a librarian, I’ve always known.” And she was, she is, right. She set me back on the right path, where she knew I belonged.
She is a million little stories and a thousand big ones. She is my conscience, the voice in my head that guides my heart.
She is what makes my friends all say, “you’re so lucky.”
I am lucky, I am blessed, I am grateful.
She is my mother.
She has a sign, in her kitchen, that says:
Home: where your story begins.
It is talking about the memories, the love, the neverending little details that make up who we are; that create a family, that create people. That created me.
The sign is wrong. It ought to say:
Mom: where your story begins.
I love you, always. Happy Mother’s Day!