Mom was gentle, soft spoken, devoted to her family, positive in spirit and enormous of heart.

She loved the arts — particularly music, working in her flower beds and making something out of nothing in the kitchen.

She was a builder — of things that would last. I remember coming home when I was 12 or 13 to find mom tearing down a wall between the kitchen and a small spare bedroom — so that the six of us could all gather around her kitchen table. More than almost anything, she loved it when we all gathered around the table. The family was the beneficiary of all of her creative strengths and aspirations.

She was gone far too young — but nearly 30 years later she is with us still. The memories are a great gift. And they remind me to be a better husband, father and friend today than I was yesterday. That’s what she’d expect of her son.

Happy Mother’s Day — to Billie Gene, and to all moms.