Mom —

Want to wish you the happiest of happy birthdays today … or at least as happy as a day that coincides with the anniversary of a tragedy (and associated socio-political and pseudo-religious BS pervading the media) can be.

I’ve been thinking about family lots lately, and I know that I am truly lucky to have you as my mother; oh, sure, we annoy each other sometimes … that’s what mothers and sons do, but I’d like to think that you raised me to to be a good person and a good man, and to my mind, that’s the best sign of successful parenting; for when it really comes down to it, if you don’t have the love and respect of your family, then you have nothing.

So while I may not always show it in a timely manner, you are always with me in my heart … and whenever I make a decision in life, I think about how I was raised … by you, by Gramma, by Uncle Gene, by our family; all of whom are a part of you, all of whom are a part of me … and try to make the right decision, even if it’s not necessarily the decision I want to make.

I do love you … and I do respect you, more than I can ever really express.

I truly hope that you have a fantastic birthday today.

Much love!