to my mother on her birthday.

Happy birthday to my mom, the artist of pastels and oil and of life.


My mom, the tireless fighter. My mom, the spunky, beautiful silver-haired warrior. My mom, the chaser and creator of beauty. My mom, the woman who bore me for nine months, labored with me for 36 hours, and loved me without abandon for the last 25 years. My mom, who faced death and wrestled it to the ground. My mom, steadfast alongside her family as we brace ourselves against pain. My mom, like Atlas carrying the weight of our worlds and her own. My mom, who successfully raised two stubborn, nerdy, know-it-all, sensitive children to be bright and caring seekers of light and knowledge. My mom, lover of art and music. My mom, the laugher and the crier. My mom, the one who feels and is affected, who invariably chooses vulnerability over desensitization. My mom, whom I love for every thing that she is. Happy birthday to the strongest woman I know.

Now here’s a picture of me yelling at Nick to take better pictures as my mom stands by, smiling. We are a family of yellers; we’re used to it by now.