We said goodbye to my mother on Sunday. She fought pancreatic cancer–from an initial cautiously optimistic diagnosis through chemotherapy to a surprise terrible diagnosis after surgery–for ten months. It took her health and it took her life but it didn’t take her beauty or her spirit, not even at the end.

She taught me how to sew. She taught me how to cook. She taught me how to take care of people. There won’t be a day for the rest of my life where I won’t want to ask her about my garden or show her fabric for my next project or tell her about my day, but she also taught me how to be strong.

She showed us all what it meant to be strong over this past year and what love really looks like. For that, and for everything else, I say: Thank you, Mom. I love you.