Today is my mom's birthday. She is now 77 years old.

My mom has an interesting new hobby: Feeding the birds that come around
our apartment complex. She buys bird seed for them and takes it out every
morning, even though it's not exactly easy for her to get up and down the
steps anymore. And sometimes she feeds them in the evening as well. She
sure is spoiling those little birds.

But that's pretty much my mom. I was going to go into a long biographical
thing and tell you a little about her life. But I think that, for my mom,
I could sum it all up pretty quickly: She is a very good woman who has been
through a lot of adversity in her life but who has still retained her humor
and her courage.

When I was a kid, she read to me. We would curl up together on the living
room floor and she would read me my favorite books — Buster Bulldozer
was my favorite.

And if there is one thing I think of these days is that in a very real way,
I am still very much, and always will be, that person who leaned up against
her as she turned the pages. She is a fundamental component of what I do
here. No doubt about it. In fact, there is a part of her in so much of my
life and what I do and what I have done. Because she is my mom.

Mom, I love you. And like the birds, I have been spoiled also…spoiled in
your more than generous love.

One hand holds the book; the other turns the page.