When you’re a child your Mom protects you, feeds you, teaches you to dress yourself and do your hair. She plays with you, shows you how to draw a cat on a fence, how to cook, plan parties, wrap presents and cover a school book using a brown paper bag from the grocery store.

When you’re a teenager and young adult, her ideas are not part of your plan. Her rules are non-negotiable and she’s not afraid to have the conversations you’d rather avoid. She teaches you how to grow up; if you would just take the time to watch and listen.

Then one day, you’re a Mom. Suddenly you understand the rules, the sleepless nights, the nightly prayers, the wishes for dreams come true, the excitement behind the little surprises that bring the biggest smiles, the inexhaustible source of energy to multi-task and complete “just one more thing” before you put yourself to bed.

No matter how old you are, when you are apart the shared smiles, the memory of her hug, the smell of her perfume and that natural response to pick up the phone to share your day will always be there.

Today Corey and I remembered my mom. The grandchildren called her Dedema. We shared all our favorite memories about her; a cookie for each hand, listening to the hum of her sewing machine in the middle of the night, long phone calls, ice cream and Corey’s favorite memory; vanilla cake with strawberry icing.

It’s been 7 years since we shared her birthday cake but today Corey and I had a piece in her honor. Mom would have loved it. Corey held her fork in her left hand and placed it in the cake to stabilize the piece. She then used the knife in her right hand to cut the slice. It’s the first time she’s used two hands in unison! I’m sure Dedema is smiling.

We miss you mom, xoxo