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Michelle Turnberg, Published May 12 2012

Michelle Turnberg celebrates her mother

My mom is a beautiful woman, inside and out.

She is the oldest of four children and was raised in the Twin Cities. She was homecoming queen and a cheerleader, and went to prom with a boy she started dating in sixth grade. Years later, she married that boy, and he became my dad.

She is a college graduate, an award winning registered nurse and has been the director of nurses in my hometown for more than 30 years. She is active in her church and in the community.

She is a devoted daughter, a cherished friend, a magnificent sister and wife, and an awesome mom and grandma.

Words cannot describe how fortunate I am to have this woman as my mother.

She has been there for everything; when I split my chin open just before the Christmas program in second grade and needed stitches, when I broke my arm while playing keep away at recess, and when I had a mysterious lump removed.

She has always been my biggest cheerleader and strongest supporter. I don’t remember a high school event she didn’t attend. Every speech, every production and every game, she was cheering from the stands.

She tearfully sent me off to college, and has celebrated or supported me through all of life’s ups and downs every day since.

I think the trouble with daughters is we often take our mothers for granted, perhaps because their love is unconditional. It’s easy to be irritable or hurtful with those who love you the most.

When something goes wrong in my life, the easiest person to vent to is my mom. She is always there for me. She will never cut me off or lose her patience, and even though I sometimes don’t want to hear it, she usually has a level headed answer to my dilemma.

Maybe it took becoming a mother myself to truly appreciate my own mom. I now know the pain of seeing my own children when they hurt, I truly appreciate the beautiful sound of their laughter, and I understand the notion of wanting to protect them from the world, while allowing them to spread their wings and learn on their own.

I know I come up short every Mother’s Day when it comes to letting her know just how important she is to me and how thankful I am to have her in my life.

So with a big smile and enormous love I just want to say this: Thank you, Mom. I love you.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Michelle Turnberg writes a weekly column for SheSays.