My mom is one of those women who always wanted to have children, and it shows. As a child, I watched her joy and success as a mom and wanted to be just like her when I grew up.

She was always there when I rode my bike and scraped my knee, was sick and needed cuddles, or had a nightmare and cried for reassurance.

As I grew, she listened to me gab about school, supported me through tryouts, grounded me when I earned it, and provided a shoulder to cry on when I felt the sting of a broken heart.

When it was time to try on a wedding dress, I wanted her there. When I had my babies, I wanted her there. As I type this, I realize that even as an adult, I still need to know that she’s there, and - lucky for me - she is.

I have friends who don’t have the best relationship with their mothers. As a result, they do everything they possibly can to not be like the women who raised them.

Then there are friends who, sadly, have already lost their mothers. I can’t imagine the heartbreak of having to say goodbye to one of the most important people in my life so early on. My mom was just a child when she lost mother.

I will never know my maternal grandmother and have relied on a few photographs and my mom’s childhood recollections. I hear that she and I would have gotten along based on our similar personality attributes, and I love that thought.

Realizing how fortunate I am and that nothing lasts forever, I remind myself how special it is to chat with my mom on the phone, send her an email, or - better yet - wrap my arms around her and give her a hug.

I am now a mother and truly savor the precious moments I experience every day. I had an excellent role model and thank her for instilling a sincere appreciation of motherhood and family. Even when my children are getting the best of me, she reminds me that this time is short, that all mothers have been there, and that these days create tomorrow’s nostalgic memories.

I watch her now as both a grandmother and as a caregiver for my dad’s parents. Just as when I was a child, her love, patience and selflessness still abound. I know that my great grandmothers would delight in knowing that someone is providing their children with essential and respectful compassion, comfort and care.

So to the wonderful woman who brought me into this world and opened my eyes to all the beautiful possibilities, I offer a warm tribute. In addition to my deep love and sincere appreciation, I would like to say this: I still want to be just like you when I grow up.