My mother died today after a long, steady decline. Having raised eight children and nurtured twenty-one grandchildren, she also came to know six great grandsons. She was a mom's mom who loved children and we are all better for her devotion.
I, of course, owe my existence to her desire for children and I never had reason to doubt her commitment to my welfare. Though she was religious, mom was a kind and tolerant person and, though her interests focused primarily on her family, she was a wise mentor and one of the best listeners I have ever known. In my 66 years on this planet, she was always there when I needed her support and advice.
The world would be a better place if more parents shared my mother's warmth and compassion. My grief is tempered by a lifetime of fond memories but I will miss her always. Thanks, mom; I will do my best to reflect the gifts you bestowed.