She was my first love. She is still one of my best friends and her concern and affection for me have not diminished at all throughout the years. I'm very proud that a woman like her loved me - - and even prouder that she still does.
Our romance began when I was very young, and her devotion to me was total. Although she was an ''older woman'' she understood me as no one else ever did. She had a caring, loving nature unsurpassed by any other woman in my life, and her love knew absolutely no bounds.
The difference in our ages notwithstanding, I care for her now almost the way I did in my youth. I depended on her, cherished her and looked to her fulfill all my needs. She never failed me.
She's a little frail these days -- the rigors of her more than 70 years catching up to her. She knows pain now and her steps has slowed and is hindered by her cane. Yet her spirit remains the same -- loving genuine and caring. Her sincerity cannot be faulted, and her fidelity remains unquestioned.
She still phones me, almost daily, to find out how I am, to learn what I'm doing, to make sure I'm healthy and happy. And her solicitous interest is real. She isn't trying to manipulate or cajole or wheedle, she is, in fact, expressing her love.
In many ways, she still says she loves me in unique ways. ''Are you eating?'' she'll ask. That means she loves me. ''Are you sleeping well?'' she'll inquire. Translated, that means the same thing. When I was younger, her reminders of her love were things like, ''Button your coat,'' ''Wear your galoshes,'' ''Eat your vegetables.''
Her name is Virginia Klauber, and I'd like each and everyone of you to meet her. I'm very, very proud of her and even prouder of the way she loves me. Virginia is, of course, my mother.
Thinking about her, I marvel at the way the role of motherhood is so rapidly changing in society today. But then, I think of Virginia, and realize that while the trappings might change, the role really doesn't seem to.
Virginia was a working mother, long before everybody was a working mother. She didn't have a microwave oven, a food processor, a trash compactor, or even portable telephone enabling her to use all the other devices unimpeded while talking to her office.
She had to divide her time into smaller pieces, but the love always was there. Her love can compare to nothing else in preparing me and my three siblings for life. She often overprotected us and sometimes worried about us to a fault, but her concern and love were pure, genuine and unparalleled. I would get angry at her and wonder why she would do the things she did - - but her love transcends and overshadows her few faults and fewer failures. Only those who never attempt, never fail.
My mother will be 68 June 28. She has gone through some difficult times during the past few years, especially right after my dad died. She is in great pain most of the time - - undaunted spirit continues, and she just carries on.
I somehow survived the absence of Virginia from home while she was working. - - it made me more independent, now that I look back on it. And the kids of today will survive. There is no substitute for the love, nurturing and tender loving care of the fellow human being who gave birth to you. But that fellow human being can also be a productive, career-minded individual without cheating a child of anything but too much attention.
Mother's Day of today is different, and we should not to visit our moms for their health because of the Covid-19. But we can have good time and make them happy via video chat. I hope your moms are fine. And we have to protect our lovely moms. I hope safety days will be come for all of us.
And I wish hope I want Virginia to know how much I love her. I want her to know that I, too, have memories. I want her to know that working moms are and were just fine.
Virginia really was my first love - - she will always be more special to me than I can ever tell her. Happy Mother's Day, Mom.