I remember.

I remember the moment that Ryan was placed into your arms. There was a look of pure amazement on your face that something so pure and precious was part of you. Oh the love you poured on him from that moment on was a gift that continued to grow with the births of both Jordyn and Julianna.

They remember sleepovers and cuddles, treats filled with baked goodies and time spent focused solely on them. You rarely ever said no. You rarely ever raised your voice. You laughed at their childish humor and listened to endless stories with such patience.

I remember the feeling of contentment that my children had someone in their life that did not criticize, judge or discipline. You left that job to Scott and I. You just wanted to be a safe place for them to land. Someone who would always take their side and protect their heart.

I remember Ryan and Jordyn growing older. Soon Julianna will follow. Their time divided between parental obligations and the need to be free to grow up. You sat patiently on the sidelines happy to see them take their next steps, even if it meant less time spent with you and Papa. You remained proud and full of love. Full of grace.

Those that surround you, your family, friends and strangers just recently met, remember your kind soul and gentle smile. They love you for your generosity of spirit and your zest for life. You have accumulated daughters to our family circle that love you as fiercely as I do. We have grown in blessings and love.

I remember your wish for me. One, that I believe you still pray for each and every day. But you can’t change the past or take another’s place. I know. Because I would change places in a heartbeat if could. After all, we are mothers. What wouldn’t we do for children?

On your 70th birthday, I want you to know that I remember.

All the wonderful things you are as woman, grandmother, sister and friend.

But mostly as my mother. Who I am today, came from the lessons you taught me. The strength that I must draw from now came from the backbone of your experiences and teachings.

You have given so much love. My birthday wish is for you to feel that love a hundredfold.

Happy Birthday, Mama.