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An Ode to My Mother

This post is long overdue, in part because I've found it really difficult to write. How can I put into words what my incredible mother has done for me?

My middle school experience with bullying was one of the worst times of my life. My pregnancy and Charlie's babyhood were both really difficult for me. My divorce was totally traumatic. And cancer: OMG cancer. She has held my hand through every awful thing I've ever faced in my entire life. She used her own personal experience to normalize my feelings, and it took becoming a mother myself to realize just how difficult her actions were (and are).

Cancer is the big kahuna.

I can't imagine what it must be like to hold your adult daughter as she cries hysterically at losing her breasts, or to hear a surgeon come out of the OR to inform you that your daughter, who is a single mother, has invasive breast cancer.

She has cried with me, which has been incredibly comforting, but she's also held it together during times that I never would have expected her to. Somehow, she always does the right thing at the right time, and I have no idea how she does it. I am in awe of her on a daily basis.

In my life, she has never overstayed her welcome or violated my boundaries. She is thoughtful, considerate, hilarious (an absolute necessity during these times), and one of the most easy-going people I have ever met.

It started with her immediately throwing things in a suitcase approximately 10 seconds after a totally unexpected cancer diagnosis during a totally unexpected biopsy on a random Friday afternoon. She was at my house, a full state away, with a fully stuffed SUV, the very next afternoon. She may have driven 90mph, but she'll never admit it.

She has silently taken over the infuriatingly thankless job of packing lunches and snacks for my picky second grader, managed school pick-ups and drop-offs, pulled my pants on, washed my face and back, known what supplies I've needed and gotten them without my asking, gently encouraged me to lay the hell down, and found good TV shows to watch together. This doesn't even begin to touch on what she's done — and continues to do — every day. I couldn't possibly list it all.

She is and always has been my best friend, and I recognize how totally rare and wonderful our relationship is. Thank you, Mom.