Mom, this one's for you!
...sitting in the passenger seat while you popped in Whitney Houston's cassette and sang along. I thought your voice was just as good as hers. Maybe better.
...the Valentine's Day dessert party where you baked and made dozens of delicious things and everything was decorated just so.
...our after school coffee dates and how special it made me feel to have you all to myself.
...how proud I was when you donated every cent of a full day of haircuts to cancer research.
...laughing until we cried with Aunt Kay in Block Island.
...dressing up in your clothes and wishing I had a closet full of shoes, dresses, and purses. (It's your fault.)
...you organizing the Strawberry Festival and everything going like clockwork.
...the gourmet packed lunches and how you loved getting "feedback" from my friends at school.
...how my birthday lunch was wrapped. Each individual item in its own paper.
...you singing "Hey Big Spender" to me and changing the words to "Hey Little Cutie", just like you do for your grandson.
...all the packages, the cards, the "mad money" (as Mom-mom would say), and the little notes on the backs of Golden Retriever calendar pages.
...the hot chocolate and gingersnap marbles on the way to the Christmas tree farm, and your silly songs about finding our tree.
...the laundry on the line and the way it smells. Like home.
...our trips to NYC and all of the wonderful Thai lunches, conversations, and shows we shared.
...making Christmas cookies with you. Rolling. Forking. Flouring. Decorating. Licking out the bowl!
...Spain and Italy and how excited you were about the silverware in First Class, Hilton's Executive Lounge, the Italian language, the gelato, the cappuccinos, and the doughnuts at the Positano cafe.
...how just hearing your voice on the phone makes me feel better.
...your visit to Monterey where you literally stopped to smell the roses every few steps.
...your incredible ability to give the perfect gift. Every time.
...the way you treated my friends and always made them feel welcome. One boyfriend even said he felt more comfortable at our house than his own.
...that you ALWAYS go the extra mile. For me. For your family. For your friends. For complete strangers.
And I'll never forget. I love you, Mom!