In the third grade, I wrote an essay that read, “I love my mom. She’s nice.” Now, at 28 years old, I appreciate my mother, Joyce Blitch, in ways that a third-grader couldn’t begin to fathom.

If I had to describe my mother in three words, it would be these: everything to everyone. She gives 100 percent of herself daily. She is so incredibly beautiful, inside and out.

Here is an example that encompasses who my mother is: My 92-year-old great-aunt lives with my mom. Aunt Elma requires oxygen 24/7 and needs constant assistance. Would it be easier to put her in a nursing home? Sure. But my mother, probably the most outgoing of her five siblings, selflessly decided to become her sole caregiver. This requires my mom to stay home every day and sacrifice all of her time. Yet she does it, never asking for help from anyone and never muttering a word of complaint.

As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, she also goes above and beyond for countless others. When I was sick, my mom went to work in my place. When my dad travels, she packs his bags. When she goes grocery shopping, she takes the grocery lists of her sisters. When someone needs a helping hand or a home, she welcomes them as family. She consistently radiates with kindness and patience with humility. I never want her to question the significance of her life, because she is a shining light for all to see.

LeaAnn Blitch

Vance