Dear Mama,It’'s almost Mother's Day.

I wish with all my heart that you were still here to sit down and have a cup of coffee with me. There is so much I long to tell you. Seventeen years’ worth of moments are stored up in my heart and, oh, how I wish I could share them all with you.

I wish I could share with you all the proud moments that my children have had: the First Communions, the Confirmations, the graduations. I wish I could have sat with you through every baseball game and every high school play. I wish I could tell you how your grandchildren are wonderful people, that you have left a legacy of love and faith that lives on in your name.

I wish you had been there for the tough times, too.

I wish I could have run to you for comfort when a diagnosis of cancer was handed to me. I wish I could have called you after one of the kids was in a car accident. I wish I could ask you how you ever endured the pain of seeing your children's hearts broken, how you ever managed to teach us to get back up and love again. I wish you could tell me, dear Mama, how you ever had the strength to let your babies go.

I wish I could tell you about all my worries and fears as my children grow older. I wish I could share every tear I shed and every doubt I have with you. I know that you would understand my heart in a way that only a Mama can. I know that above all others, you would understand the pain of letting our children grow.

I think back to a time, so many years ago, when our baby Jacob was so very ill. At eight months old he had only gained two pounds since birth. He was constantly ill, constantly medicated, and yet none of the doctors could figure out what was wrong.

And then, in the midst of this most difficult time, your great big heart began to give out. The doctors said there was nothing more they could do. For five weeks our family kept a vigil by your bedside. I divided my time between your hospital and Jacob's. And then late one night, the dreaded phone call came.

You had gone to heaven. And just like that, you were gone.

Uncontollable sobs escaped my throat. Please God, I don't know what I'll do without my Mama. Who will I talk to? Who will I turn to?

And yet, God, I know that she is yours; she always was.

I miss you so much, Mama. I miss you every day, but especially on Mother's Day. But you have earned Heaven, Mama. And this Mother's Day, I hope that you will be able to hear the words I long to tell you.

At last I was able to fall asleep through my tears. When the morning dawned, I went outside to see the sunrise. You always loved the sunrise, Mama, and I suddenly realized I could share it with you again. I began to see that the most beautiful gift God has given us is the Gift of Eternal Life. I realized that true love, like the love of a Mama, can never die. Looking up to heavenly skies, words began to flow from my heart just as naturally as the tears had fallen.

Tell Him, Mama! Please tell our Father in heaven how much we need His help. Tell Him how sick little Jacob is and ask Him to help us. Please, Mama --- I know you can.

And you did. Within two weeks of that prayer, the answers began to become so clear. Our Father put all the right people in our path and Jacob was referred to a specialist who diagnosed him immediately. After two surgeries, Jacob began to thrive and to grow. Today he is a junior in high school, Mama, and he is doing great. You would be so proud.

I miss you so much, Mama. I miss you every day, but especially on Mother's Day. But you have earned Heaven, Mama. And this Mother's Day, I hope that you will be able to hear the words I long to tell you. Thank you for teaching me:

That I can do anything I put my mind to.

That love is more important than money.

That babies are blessings.

That God loves me and created me to live forever with Him in heaven.

That it is possible to diaper a baby, fold the laundry, break up a gang of wrestling boys, and hold a meaningful conversation all at the same time.

That today is not forever — babies grow up and mommies do, too.

That there is no excuse in the world for ruining perfectly good chocolate chips by using anything other than homemade cookie dough.

That it is possible to feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger meat, providing you cook with care and with love.

That prayer isn’t only for Sundays and bedtimes, but for every minute of every day.

That's it's okay to let your children grow because they will always carry a piece of your heart with them.

That no matter where in the world I go, no matter what mistakes I make, no matter what rejections or failures I might endure, there is someone who loves me exactly as I am. Completely and unconditionally.

And I love you, too, Mama. Happy Mother's Day.

Therese Corsaro attends St. Mary Church, Palmdale, and teaches at St. Mary School.