I wanted to write this for Mother’s Day but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I wanted to celebrate her, brag about her, tell you just how lucky I am to have been raised by her. I just couldn’t do it. Every time I thought about what I would say, I started to cry.

I’m still crying but I feel like I need to write this. I need to get these thoughts out of my head.

Her name was Mary and she was the epitome of that 60’s TV mom that I aspire to be but fall short of all the time.

Growing up the house was spotless even with four girls, a dog, and a husband. A husband who was usually dragging some car part into the house and using the dining room table as his work bench. There were always fresh baked cookies waiting for me when I came home from school. A load of laundry hanging on the clothes lines. A beautiful home cooked meal every night. You could count on one hand how many times we ate at McDonalds.

I came home from a friends house one day in awe. I asked her if she knew you could buy these cookies called “Chips Ahoy” from the store! She said, “Oh, honey we don’t do that in this house.”

She threw us birthday parties, making everything from the cake to the decorations from scratch. My cousin had hers at McDonalds every year. I was always jealous of those parties and she was always jealous of mine. Sometimes parents just can’t win.

She inspired my love of baking and cooking meals for my family. She’s the reason Mason’s first birthday party had more attention to detail than the President’s Inaugural Ball. I wanted to be like her. I wanted her to be proud, to know that her hard work paid off.

She was just that, proud. Mason’s Buckaroo Party was perfect and went off without a hitch with BBQ beef sliders and handmade cactus cupcakes. When someone told her Mason seemed to be enjoying his special meal she told them Wendy cooks like this for him everyday.

Twenty six short days later she was gone. I miss her. Every. Damn. Day.

I am forever grateful that her last day on Earth was a day that we were together. It was a good day, for some reason it just felt special. If I would have known it was her last I would have said so many things to her. I would have told her how special she was and how lucky I was to be able to call her my mom.

I guess I was naive, in denial. I never thought I would have to say good bye to her. I knew her heart was bad, I could tell she was slowing down. Those homemade cookies became a rare treat. The clothes lines hadn’t seen a fresh load of laundry for years.

My life changed forever, September 27, 2013 at 1:23 a.m. My best friend was gone. I grieve for her everyday.

I have a voicemail from her on my phone, and when I’m feeling brave I listen to it. It’s 33 seconds long. It makes my heart ache, but I will never erase it.

I see her in my son, he has her hair and her little chin. He makes me feel special, just like she did.