Today would have been my mother's 77th birthday.
My mom passed away this past April 15th. (Yeah, it was tax day. My parents both chose memorable days to go: my dad passed on New Year's Day 1986.) She was simply the most selfless person I've ever known. Her kindness, caring, and charity knew no bounds. After my father's passing, she simply lived to help others, often to her own detriment. As much as I encouraged her to go out and socialize in order to find new friends, she instead chose to remain home, constantly reinforcing her faith and helping as many charities as she possibly could.
It's been a tough year when I revisit the memories of the last moments we spent together. She was strong and dignified until the very end of her life, though. Her charities of choice were wide and varied: from Native American children to Special Olympics to the Humane Society, my mom supported them all. This is not even to mention her tithing to her favorite ministries of choice, including Frederick Price and Robert Schueller. I know we'll be getting mail addressed to her from these charities and more for years to come. It will make future visits to the mailbox filled with fond memories of her boundless mercy and faith.
Although I most closely relate to the Unitarian Universalists these days, I always admired and respected my mother's faith. It provided her with the basic rules of life that she followed. Those rules ultimately influenced me a great deal through my occupations that require empathy and diplomacy. She was simply the greatest woman I've ever known.
I miss you, Mom. I hope you're enjoying all of the benefits you did without while you walked on this Earth. Happy Birthday.