My mother passed from this earth to her eternal life and salvation on June 7, 2007. The last time I talked to her was Mother's Day of 2007. I had sent her some summer gowns to wear. I was worried because she didn't really like sleeveless gowns, and when I had not heard from her by the afternoon, I called to make sure she had gotten them and liked them. We had a good conversation. It had been increasingly difficult to get in touch with my mother in the last several years of her life as my brother had taken to moving her about from place to place, something none of my other brothers and I approved of, but we had not idea the extent he had taken from her until after all was said and done. The old saying about knowing what you had until it was gone is so very true. The fact is, I loved my mother with all my heart, but ours was a somewhat adversarial relationship, mostly on my part. I felt I had never pleased either of my parents and despite all of my hard work, that I never would. Also, there was the fact that my mother favored my youngest brother over the rest of us. Despite what she said, actions, as they say, speak louder than words. I had 4 brothers and 3 of them knew where they stood with mom. I was looking at some old slides last night and it hit me very poignantly that we had some great Christmases and it was all mom's doing. Dad just wasn't into Christmas. He watched from a distance and smiled, but I knew even at a young age that he had no real interest in it. It was years after my father's death before I knew that my father had never bought my mother a gift of any kind for any occasion. I never knew that as a child. Or even a teenager. Or even an adult. How had I missed that? My mother was 300% committed to my father. I never heard them argue in front of me. None of us did. I never knew of them to talk about finances in front of us. I never knew of them to be ununited on ANYTHING in front of us. It was the kind of marriage I wanted for myself, but never had. They don't make marriages like that anymore, at least not many. So mom, as you watch from above, this is for you.