I can't even begin to express what it was like growing up with a Mom like mine. She was, and continues to be, the most loving, nurturing, and encouraging Mom that a kid could hope for. She coached my cheerleading teams, cheered me and my team on at softball games, laughed and cried with me over silly boy troubles, and was front and center, beaming from ear to ear, at my chorus concerts. Amazingly, she was just as attentive to my older sisters and younger brother. I really don't know how she did it. How she juggled us all, making us feel just as special as the other couldn't have been easy. She always knew what to say at just the right time, even when it wasn't what I wanted to hear.
She's so fondly referred to as "Mrs. Terri" by so many of my friends because when I was a little girl, she opened a pre-school so that she could stay home with my siblings and I. She became like a second mother to so many, a blessing that many of them still talk about today. I honestly don't think that she even realizes what kind of impact she had on so many of us.
While she was all of those things, she was also quick to remind me as a child that she was my Mother, not my friend. She always said that there would be a time later in life when we could be friends, a statement that I never quite understood until adulthood. Now more than ever, now that I am about to become a mother myself, I get precisely what she meant. I can now say that she is my very best friend and I wouldn't change the progression of our relationship for the world.