totally missing my mom today. being totally transparent here, there was a time when I almost cut my mom out of my life. thank God I didn't. and really, it was only due to her stubbornness that I couldn't. she just would *not* go away. God made us perfect for each other. He gave her the gift of acting like nothing bad or crazy ever happened between us. He gave me the gift of taking a deep breath and moving forward when mom went into pretending mode. it might sound bad. it might not sound healthy. it did, however, get us through years we probably couldn't have gotten through. and when the timing was right, God's timing only, it took one blessed conversation, 2 years before she passed, of me forgiving her for one perceived wrong from my childhood. the thing is, I realized after her death, almost immediately as she drew her last breath in my arms, how gracious she had been in allowing me that, because really, who was I to forgive her, when she had her own path to walk? when babies are born, we say they don't come with an instruction manual. guess what? neither do adult children and our parents are still parenting us as best they know how, deciding when to offer advice, when to offer love, and when to shut up. and yes, even when to step out of our lives and let us walk our own, sometimes rocky, path. thank God she annoyed me for years, drove me crazy, loved me the way only a mother can love a stubborn daughter who thinks she can do things better and make less mistakes, and mama worked her way back into the deepest, deepest core of my heart, where every mother deserves to live in the heart of their child. she showed me what a strong woman was, not just a strong personality. when my mama drew her last breath, I realized too late she was the one on earth who loved me best, without hesitation, reservation, judgement or guilt. I'll never have another in my life like her. I am who I am because of her. and today I miss her.