Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Mother nicknamed me, the younger of her two girls, her "Baby Angel." She gave Maggie that same nickname when she was born 14 years ago, though she often reminded Maggie that I was her original baby angel.

Mother went to heaven in August, so once again, this fall is different from those before: No national press, no national campaign, no recovery from strokes, and no nursing home. Just my memories of her time with me for the past 47 years.

I miss her so much, every day. Not only her smiles and her cheery spirit, but I also miss her giving me a hard time. Asking me where I had been, why didn't I come by more often, could I stay a little longer, when would I be back.

What I miss the most is her simple presence, which reminded me of her love, her strength, her constant encouragement and her belief in me.

Mom, even though you are no longer physically with me, I know you are with me in spirit, and I as celebrate my first birthday without you, I can imagine your voice, "Happy Birthday Baby Angel, I love you, you know."

Yes, I know.


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.