What would we do without our mothers? Our mothers were our first experience of what it means to be alive. We don't typically have memories in the womb, of course. However, our Moms are usually among our very first memories.

My first cognitive memory is of standing in my crib, bouncing on that buoyant mattress, with the sunlight streaming through the window behind me. I remember being happy when I saw my lovely, smiling mother walk through the door. I don't remember what she said, but I do remember the sweetness of her tone of voice.

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She taught me the beauty of kindness, how to treat people with respect, how to make some of my favorite recipes to this day, and that I don't always have to look at life with the sometimes overly heavy perspective with which I tend to view it. Many, many things.

Me, Mom, and Tonya at my sister's wedding.
Me, Mom, and Tonya at my sister's wedding.

All mothers are different, of course. The lessons and gifts you received from your mom may be quite different. One thing most of us have in common is that we benefited from the immense love and life-long care our mothers have given, and still give, to us.

Mothers don't always receive the credit they deserve. We get so used to having a sense of unconditional love and care, we sometimes forget how much of their lives they've devoted to helping us become the people we are today.

Always beautiful, inside and out.
Always beautiful, inside and out.

Please take a moment and tell your mom you're thinking of her, or that you love her. Moms don't always ask for the praise they deserve. Let's praise them doubly so, then.

Due to COVID-19 last Mother's Day, many of us weren't able to give our moms a hug. So let's make this one extra special. Take a few moments and really think about what your mom in particular would truly love this year. I bet just spending time together and lots of hugs are high on that list.

If you are missing your mother today, please know you're not alone. Sending you much love. To those who are struggling today because you wanted to be a mother and life didn't work out that way for you. Please know you're not alone in that heart-space, either.

Finally, to all of the mother-figures, step moms, pet moms, all of you---Thank you for your love.

KEEP READING: Here are the most popular baby names in every state

Using March 2019 data from the Social Security Administration, Stacker compiled a list of the most popular names in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to their 2018 SSA rankings. The top five boy names and top five girl names are listed for each state, as well as the number of babies born in 2018 with that name. Historically common names like Michael only made the top five in three states, while the less common name Harper ranks in the top five for 22 states.

Curious what names are trending in your home state? Keep reading to see if your name made the top five -- or to find inspiration for naming your baby.

KEEP READING: What were the most popular baby names from the past 100 years?


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