Mom,

I miss you everyday. The past six months without you have been some of the hardest, but I know you are with me, watching over me, every step of the way.

I am so lucky and grateful to be surrounded by wonderful people who support me and love me on the days when I need it most. I have the best friends in the world. Mom, I wish you could have met them. You would have loved them.

I miss our hour long phone calls, and two hour phone calls when I was missing home a little more than usual, or when I just had too much gossip to spill to you. I can still hear your voice when you'd pick up the phone, greeting me in the exact same endearing way every time. I miss laughing with you.

Things without you are so different, and I am not sure if I will ever stop being so painfully aware of that difference.

This time last year, we were heading out to the Hamptons to have a combo celebration for your birthday and Mother's Day, just like always. Your May 11 birthday always walks right alongside Mother's Day, and I always thought the universe did that on purpose. You were the best mother I could have asked for, and my best friend.

This year, May 11 and Mother's Day are painfully quiet. Any other year, we would have filled the house with pink roses and lilies- your favorites. It would have smelled like Easter. This year I will be very much missing your lilies.

It frustrates me beyond belief when the people around me complain about their moms. Maybe I should be more understanding, but I do not think they realize how lucky they are. As much as we fought, and disagreed, and had our bad days, you were my best friend and life without you is lonely in the worst way. And as much as everyone fights, and disagrees, and has their bad days with their own mothers, they are so lucky. I mean, so lucky, to have their mothers. Nobody should take that for granted, and nobody should forget how fortunate they are and I just wish they could truly understand and remember that.

Most pain is temporary, but I believe this pain is not. It is something I will probably carry for the rest of my life, but I am strangely okay with that because it keeps you here in a way. I find you in the little things- songs by P!nk that come on for no reason, the colorful bird that sits outside my window, alone, but content, my friends slipping silly words into their sentences that I never heard anyone use except for you.

You are all around me, always. I know you are.

This year, I am grateful for you in a new way, because I have to be grateful in a new way. I am grateful to have had nearly 20 years to share with you. I am grateful that you made me into the person I am today. I am grateful to have you running through my veins, because you were strong, and brave, and beautiful.

I am grateful to be a part of you, and you a part of me.

I am grateful to be your daughter, and I am grateful to have known you and loved you. I am so, so grateful.

To my guardian angel on Mother's Day: I love you. Thank you.