Happy 61st Birthday Mom.

My mother could have...Celebrated her sixtieth birthday. Lived in a house with her now widowed fiancé. Quit her two full-time jobs--we're all adults now. Gone to college, pursuing her passions. Slept more than five hours a day... Went on family trips. Traveled with Leonila, her sister, throughout Europe. Cooked her favorite dishes. Eaten stinky, rotten, fish-smelling food with her son (me)--not safe for 'Americans'. Celebrated holidays with us. Met my partner of eight years. Met my sister's partner Chad. Seen my younger brother's cute home. Met my older brother's wife. Held Sakura in her arms as a Grandmother.

None of your kid's lives are Picture Perfect. Life is less perfect when you are not part of the journey.