At 50.

We celebrated my mother's 50th this past weekend - a celebration with extended and immediate family who love this woman so very much and are so proud to call her our own. It's a privilege to have someone like her in your life. Even more so to call her your mother. And as my father put it so sweetly, she's completed our family in so many ways.

Without my mother, I wouldn't have known the strength it takes to raise children, work (more than) full time, take care of a home and love a husband. Without her, I wouldn't have seen that some things are worth fighting for - and some need to be let go. I wouldn't have seen how profoundly friendships can touch your life if you let them. I wouldn't have known that education is invaluable, respect must be earned, grace is a virtue, and love is powerful. I wouldn't have seen the kind of poise, godliness and care that she approaches each day with. I wouldn't have known a global perspective - that we are blessed beyond what we realize, and in sharing that blessing we find joy. 

At 50, I should hope to be half the woman that she is.