I think about when she let me withdraw from high school, when she dropped me off at college, when she drove with me to my first apartment across the country, when she took the phone call that said, "Hey, I'm going to elope." I remember her helping me stop every thirty minutes while we were on a road trip on which I ended up losing my first baby, and her making phone calls for me and letting me cry and scream and cuss.
I remember she made it from the Quad Cities to Springfield in less than six hours the day Bubby was born ten weeks early. I remember her frequent trips with me to the NICU. I remember texting her one December at three in the morning as I walked the halls of St. John's six weeks before Bugaboo's due date. "The car is packed. I'll be there soon," she said.
She will laugh if she sees someone trip, not because she is evil but because she can't help herself. She can tie shoelaces together like a pro and pinch you with her toes if she needs to get your attention. She never forced me to eat my vegetables (like I make my own kids now), but she did make me go to bed at 8:00 much longer than any of my friends had to. (Apparently I am cranky when I don't get enough sleep.) We spent every evening of a spring break watching two seasons of Downton Abbey, and we have watched every episode of Gilmore Girls together. She has always been okay with my questions, probably because she is a questioner herself, and despite my best efforts, now as a mother myself I find myself breaking into song at the most random times with my boys.