Mother's Day is Sunday. It's the special day to visit mom, maybe take her out to brunch or just spend the day with her and family and friends.

For some, it's hard to visit because you live where you live, and mom? Well, mom lives waaaay over there. So perhaps in that case, a nice long phone call will do (and if mom is of a certain age, she could be answering on that old-fashioned 'landline').

And then there are those of us whose mom is past 'waaay over there.' She's not with us at all anymore. But, of course, that's a lie.

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Mom is always with us.

My mom passed away over seventeen years ago already. So people might think that Mother's Day is, well, just another day. After all, I haven't seen or talked to her in over a decade.

Except that's a lie, too. I see her and talk to her almost every day.

I tell her about my grandkids, her great-grandkids, the couple that she briefly met, and the three she didn't meet at all. When she used to tell me how proud she was of her grandchildren and I didn't understand. Now I do.

Yep, even after having left the planet all those years ago, she's still teaching her youngest son lessons. I suppose it's what moms do.

I have all those warm wonderful memories, the ones that made me cry those first days and weeks and months after she died and still moisten my eyes from time to time. Memories that I share with my kids and grandkids, and memories that I don't, those one's that are close in my heart and will stay there until it's my turn to take flight and leave.

Someone once said that, when you lose a loved one, there are tears, but eventually there's a smile before the tears, and then just a smile. All these years later, that's where I am. I think of this lady that others called Henrietta and I called "mom." I sit back and smile.

And realize how lucky I was, and still am. After all, I had the best mom in the world.

And I hope you did, too.

If your Mom is still with you, go ahead and surprise her and tell her how much you love her. And if she isn't, go ahead and surprise her anyway and tell her how much you love her.

Randy's Minnesota Memories

Randy McDaniel grew up on a small farm near Leota, Minnesota during the classic baby-boomer years of the 1960s and 1970s. These are his stories of growing up in the idyllic world of southwest Minnesota.