My mother’s birthday was this week, and I’ve been thinking about how lucky I’ve been to have her in my life.

I was very fortunate. I have both parents and they’ve always been together. I don’t really ever remember them fighting, and they’ve always been extremely supportive. Many people aren’t that lucky.

My mother has always pushed me. That’s something I’m extremely thankful for. In high school, if my grade in a class fell below an A, I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere. It was home and school until my grade was up.

My mother didn’t do this because she was some strict dictator. She did it because she knew I was smart enough to have all As. She knew if my grade slipped, it wasn’t because of ability, it was because of knowledge. If I actually had problems understanding the material, she encouraged me to seek out extra help.

She forced me to challenge myself and to reach out for my potential in everything I did. For that I am eternally grateful. I wouldn’t have accomplished near what I have today, or grown to think the way I do without her.

My mother doesn’t back down from anything she believes in. She always stands her ground. I’m lucky to be half as tough as she is.

She worked for years as an elementary school teacher, and then became a counselor to further help her students. Something I’m certain I couldn’t do on a daily basis.

I didn’t see my mother on her birthday, and I got busy with work and forgot to even call her. Pretty terrible for someone who should be so thankful. Although I’m sure she’ll forgive me, I still feel pretty terrible about it.

But even though it is late: Happy birthday, mom.

I can’t imagine anyone else filling the role. And, honestly, I don’t want to.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.