Today, as I have done on this day for the past 12 years, I celebrate her life. Because, even though she can't be here to celebrate it herself, I am so grateful that she was here.
Without her, there'd be no me (biologically speaking), and without her, I wouldn't be the person I am (behaviourally speaking). I wouldn't have my opinionated mind, I wouldn't know how to shuffle a deck of cards with style, I wouldn't know the true healing powers of laughter, I wouldn't be a knitter with an out of control yarn stash (I still have some of her yarn), I wouldn't love dogs like I do.
My childhood is as marked by her presence as my adulthood is by her absence. And that's how I keep her here in the present, by remembering all that she was here for. My wedding someday will be marked by knowing how much she would adore the man I've chosen. My role as a wife will be marked by lessons I learned from watching her marriage through my child's eye. And my life as a mom will be inherently influenced by my own childhood, with her as my wonderful mom.
She would be here if she could. And that's what matters.
Happy birthday, Mom.