There are few people easier to love than my own dear mother. And it's not just me who thinks so. Many of my sisters and sisters-in-law got together today for a birthday lunch in honor of my mom. We all chatted and ate sinfully good soup and generally remembered what it feels like to be family. While I lived away from family, it was occasions like this that I missed most.
So, my mom is turning 76 tomorrow (I hope it's okay that I told everyone your age, Mom, but really you don't act it. So, don't worry about it). In her 7 and a half decades she has climbed mountains, eloped to marry her high school sweetheart, bear and raise 13 children, foster innumerable other children, clean the house so many times she should win a medal, bake countless loaves of bread, serve two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (one to Micronesia and one to Greece/Egypt), serve faithfully in any capacity she's been called upon to do, and all through that she's had the energy to make sure each of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren know she not only loves them, but likes them.
I'm sorry to say to the rest of the family that I am her favorite. I wouldn't mention it, but I have to tell everyone since they all seem to think they are her favorite. Wrong. It's me.
So, I'd like to take this opportunity to say to my eternally youthful mother/friend/example: Happy Birthday and many happy returns of the day!