Tomorrow would be my mom's birthday. It has been over 5 years since she left us. It is funny how much lately I have missed my mom--or missed having a mom. For the last several years of her life, she wasn't really with us--she wasn't able to speak much or communicate, and so it has been a long time since I really had a mother to talk to. That leaves a big void in your life, and I miss that. I am thankful that I have sisters whom I can talk to, and tell things to...like I would to my mother, but still there is nothing like a loving, caring mother, who loves you no matter what. There were many things I learned from my mother (or at least that I saw she exemplified--I can't say that I necessarily learned them--but I did observe them). My mother was so accepting of people--she did not judge them, but she loved them for who they were. Everyone loved my mom--she was so sweet. She never tried to take center stage, but was a great audience for others. People who met her for the first time loved to tell her their life story--just because she was such a good listener. Even when she was in the nursing home at the end of her life, people loved her for her sweetness. She raised 5 children, and we are all very different, but she accepted those differences, and never expected us to fit some mold. That was challenging since we each made such different life choices, and yet she found good in the things that we did. I know that is something that would be extremely valuable for me to learn from her. So, on this day before she would have celebrated another birthday, I just wanted to take some time to thank her for her example and for her love. Her life was a legacy of love and kindness, and there's not much more you could want people to say about you. Thanks, Mom, for all you've taught me.