Had Mom still been alive, today would have been her 60th birthday.

No single person has had a greater influence on me. While growing up, she was my role model, my hero.

Mom taught me a million things, just by being Mom.

Mom had compassion and understood that sometimes good people need more help than they can give themselves. She taught me to be compassionate because someday I might be the person that needs help.

Mom didn't understand other races and cultures, but believed no culture was inherently better or worse than any other. She taught me to be tolerant of others, even if I don't understand their ways.

Mom worked hard to attend college while raising two children so she could offer us a more comfortable life than her own. She taught me to work hard to achieve ambitious goals.

Mom was a software developer before being a software developer was cool. She taught me what a program is.

When Mom lost her development job in the early 90s recession, she took any job she could to help put food on the table. She taught me that no job is below me.

Mom showed my brother and I unconditional love, no matter how horrible we were to her. She taught me what true love meant.

Mom taught me that you will hurt and be hurt by those closest to you, but that you can still forgive. She taught me that I must learn to forgive too.

Most importantly, Mom taught me that you will, at times, hate yourself and be your own worst enemy. Her final lesson was that above all, I must learn to accept, forgive, and love myself.

Mom, I hope I have made you proud. I love you and miss you.