I've never been one to give much thought to my relationship with my mother; she's just... Mom, and we've always been two very different people.
Still, for all our problems--the mild annoyances, and those areas in which our opinions, beliefs, and attitudes do a complete 180 from each other--the inescapable fact is that I wouldn't be, precisely, who I am today... were it not for her.
Am I going to spout some claptrap about how, with each passing year, I feel closer to her or understand her better? Um, that would be a big "no". On the verge of acknowledging that the things which have always made me grit my teeth are now just cute little eccentricities? Again, a resounding no. ("Hell, no," would be my woefully-inelegant response to that, actually. I just don't do sentimental.)
But, there are a few things I definitely like and respect... things that (usually) make it possible for me to bite my tongue and silently tolerate the rest, even.
So, here's to my mom's unfailing and absolute generosity to everyone... her abiding love for animals, cats in particular (and the fact that she has rescued--then kept and cared for--untold numbers of them? so cool)... her devotion to education... her fondness for fashion--coupled with an ability to create stylish looks on a teeny-tiny budget... and, of course, her lifelong passion for reading, which she thoughtfully passed along to her only child a very long time ago.
Thanks, Mom... that was the best gift, ever. :)