There are many things we often take for granted in this life—things that are core to our survival and yet receive little of our thought or attention. The environment is typically the first thing we think of in this regard—and certainly it is a big one. But today I’m thinking about something else—something close to the heart—someone that feeds our soul.

The unconditional love, unending support even when we travel toward a rocky path, raw honesty and the comfort of a safe space to let down our guard—these are just a few of the blessings that come from the gift of mothers or motherly figures in our lives. I’ve recently had several experiences lately that remind me how much I have taken the precious gift of my mother for granted over the years.

My mother is all of the wonderful things you can think of and more. Her lap is the one I want to lay my head on when I’m sick, or cry on when I’m sad. Her reassurance is the voice I want to hear when I’m scared or uncertain. Recently, a friend of mine shared with me that she did not have the experience of a mother – at least not in the way that I’m describing that gift here. My friend has had many, many other blessings in her life, but not this one. As much as I wish for her to have experienced this part of life that I feel is so vital, I know that my only action in response is to honor and embrace the precious gift of the beautiful soul in my life that is my mother.

Another experience was as a mother myself – at times I find myself saying “You’ll miss me someday”…typically after I’ve said “don’t forget sunscreen!” or “do you want to do something together?”, which is typically followed by “I’m good.” I just smile and know that I once said “I’m good.”, and for many years didn’t realize the gift I had at the other end of the phone, and most certainly I gave her way too few hugs. I know it is all a part of growing up and growing wise…but I’m off to give my mom a hug and tell her I love her … for I’ll never have more opportunities ahead of me to do that than I do today.