When I recall favorite memories with my mom,
I realize so many of them include moving through the dark
in one way or another.
Waking up pre-dawn to pack a picnic breakfast
and watch the sunrise over Lake Harriet.
Traveling in the dark to strawberry fields one morning each summer
with my friend Jessica and her mom.
Driving eight hours through the night
to surprise my Nana and Baba in Chicago,
whispering through their bedroom window to wake them up
(to their delight, thankfully!).
Pulling over on the highway
to watch a glorious rainbow through our tears
as we travelled home from Baba’s funeral.
Riding the Metro in Paris to grab a midnight snack: 
the most amazing gyros ever (I know…gyros in Paris?).
The endless days and nights after my first son was born,
with me in the darkest dark I’ve ever known,
and my mom making every effort
 – including sleeping on the floor by our bed –  
to not miss the baby’s cries or, maybe more importantly, mine.
The people who walk with you through the dark
are the ones who light up your life.
Happy birthday, Mom.