Now that I am a parent and really understand how exhausting and scary it is to be responsible for even one other human being, I cannot help but be amazed that my Mom (and Dad, but he will get his turn next month) could have raised four children with such humor and grace. All of my life, through dark times and brighter times, I have always felt I had a vast reservoir of love and acceptance that I could tap into when I needed it, and that is a direct result of my mother’s unconditional love and support. That is not a small thing, nor is it universal. I’ve known people who did not get enough of that love, and it left them damaged in deep and lasting ways. The poet Philip Larkin put it this way:
My life has never been perfect, but I have never for one second doubted that I was loved. And that makes all the difference. Thanks, Mom.