What do you say about a woman who has had just about as many things thrown at her in her life as anyone could imagine? About a woman who devoted her entire being to raising her family as well as she knew how. About her commitment to getting up early, staying up late, and not napping in between. About a woman who planted the garden, weeded it, and rescued its crops to be used on the table. About a woman who grew up during the Great Depression and took baths in a galvanized tub in the kitchen. About a woman who had only one dress while growing up? About a woman who took her lunch down the street to eat away from other children because she was embarrassed about what she had to eat. About a woman who was beaten? About a woman who was made to watch her then-current husband rape a young girl in front of her? About a woman who was hatefully not permitted to go get emergency care when her appendix burst. About a woman who layed away nights wondering about her children, sister, and others who suffered from alcoholism, depression, and drug use. About a woman who spent years caring for her own mother. About a woman who cared for her husband during his illness with Lou Gehrig's Disease. About a woman who stood tall, held her head high, and told one of her best friends that their long-term friendship was over because the (now former) friend didn't believe in the woman's son's gay lifestyle. About a woman who has the most positive attitude of anyone I've personally ever known. About a woman who does not hate....does not speak ill of others....does not have bad days or bad attitudes. Well, I'll tell you what I'll say about her. I'd say that I want to be like her. I want her attitude, her spirit, and her energy. I want her devotion to good causes, her strength when things are tough, and her ability to carry on in the worst of times. All with a smile on her face. And I must admit that I've even considered the horrible day in the future when I'll lose my mom -- it's a day that I'm not sure I can stand to face. We've gone through it all together. She's had to reconcile her faith in the face of things I'm sure she never anticipated facing. And she's done it with grace and courage. And today, I wish my mom the happiest 78th birthday ever. I love her and have never been more proud of anyone than I have of her. I hope that I'm able to achieve being even half the person she is.