Reprinted with permission from "Reflections: Finding Love, Hope, and Joy in Everyday Life," published by Rodale Books.

I remember climbing on my mother's lap as a child to plead, "Mother, can you fold me to your heart?" It felt safe to be in her arms. Recently, as I was going through some old papers, I came across her diary, written so beautifully. I don't remember seeing it before. Her perfect penmanship voiced an unhurried lady who treated her life with dignity and care. She wrote about her dreams and how she managed her work days at home.

I read about how touched she was by a bouquet of violets I picked for Mother's Day and presented to her in her favorite silver basket, and by the lilies of the valley given to her on her birthday.

Another entry expressed how tired she was after working all day and having to make the effort to go out for the evening with my father because that was her duty as a wife. At the end of this entry was a P.S. that read, "Guess what? I had fun!"

Later in her life, she would sit for hours with her needlework. I wish I had taken more time to question her then about her thoughts instead of just discussing events. Toward her end, I asked what had made her happiest in life. She smiled and said, "My babies!" This was a surprise! I thought her answer would have been all the speeches she gave as a community leader and how she affected so many people's lives.

When my son David was a teenager, he went shopping one day and when I arrived at the designated spot to pick him up, he was nowhere to be seen. Driving around the block, my anger flared, but as I turned the corner, there he stood--a young boy looking for his mom. As he got in the car, he handed me a bouquet of roses and said, "For you, Mom!"

The first Mother's Day after he was gone, I was so distraught; I went up to the mountain to walk in the meadow where he'd lived. Through my tears, I looked down at my feet, and there was one lonely clump of forget-me-nots. The tears dried as I lifted my eyes to the sun and realized his spirit was still with me.

Dear Abby ran a column titled "Grandma's Memories Become Family's Most Treasured Gift," which spoke of sharing ideas, dreams, and feelings. Have we become so busy that we have forgotten the important gift of time spent together sharing our lives and family stories? Is this still important in our hectic lives? What will you do for your mother today? What will your children remember of you as the years go by?

Please take the time to nourish each generation, for there comes a time when the tides change--and for the children to fold mothers to their hearts! "I'll love you forever."

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