My mom. My momma. The woman who birthed me. Who loved me. Who prayed for me. The one who showed me how to bake cookies. The one who I would call crying in the middle of the night when I had my first daughter and I had no idea what I was doing. The one who could “tea party” with the best of them. The one who couldn’t really cook but could bake a mean coffee cake.

She passed away a few short weeks after my 31st birthday and there aren’t many days that I don’t think of her. I often find myself wishing I could call her, go have a cup of tea, and visit. There are times I wish I could walk over to her house and cry. Because being a mom without a mom is really hard.

But here I am. Raising three little girls of my own now with the memories and wisdom she left me with. But I think if she was here she would tell me to love. To love even when I’m frustrated and tired and feeling defeated. Because love is always a choice. And as my children are getting older I am realizing that I can no longer make all the choices for them. But I can choose to love them. Good choices. Bad choices. Especially through those bad choices. Choosing to love.

And that’s what she did with me. She loved me when I would lie to her face. She loved me when I snuck out of the house. She loved me when I spewed out all of my heart’s hurt at her in ugly anger. She chose love. She loved me in the good choices and she loved me even more in the bad choices. And I admire the heck out of that because I now know how incredibly hard it is.

To be able to go back and hug her one more time. To thank her for her prayers. For her wisdom. And for her love.

If you’d like to read a bit more about my momma head over here to my Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake inspired by her!