Moms. Without moms humanity literally could not exist. And without my mom, I would not exist. Not just in the sense of being alive, but in so many ways who I am is directly because of her. And she was a pretty rad mom. She was supportive, loving, joyous, and fun. I was lucky in that she was a stay-at-home mom and seemed to always be around, from every scraped knee to making the most awesome T-Rex birthday cake that any kid would be envious of.

She’s the type of mom who knew dragging her 14-year-old son along to her line dancing lessons would eventually join in and have fun dancing himself. And then there was just her good-natured way of seeing the world, how she saw the good in everything and everyone. How she reached out and helped those in need. That influence shaped me forever.

All my memories of her bring a smile to my face, from her creative nature, love of self-expression, and passion for connecting with others. My mom lives on within me and I can never thank her enough. With every breath, I’ll always be her little boy trying to make her proud. I’ll miss you, mom.