As Mother's Day draws near, and families celebrate their beloved matriarchs, I thought it would be fitting to reprise a column I wrote about my mother who died in January of 2012.

As Mother's Day draws near, and families celebrate their beloved matriarchs, I thought it would be fitting to reprise a column I wrote about my mother who died in January of 2012.

When I think of my mother, I think of beauty, charm, strength, grace, elegance and intelligence — and as Mother’s Day approaches, I remember the special bond that belongs to mothers and their children.

In October of 2010, my mother Judy Hawkins, a lifelong educator, loving wife and wonderful mom, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, in June of 2011, I moved home to Odessa to be with her. On Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, at the young age of 74, she lost a valiant fight with this horrible disease and we have all missed her terribly since.

A beloved Spanish and French teacher, she touched thousands of lives during the more than 40 years that she taught in Ector County Independent School District. But we remember her for what meant most to her, being a mother.

Her favorite quote was “Yesterday is history, tomorrow's a mystery, today is the present, so treat it as a gift.” And we did.

The months, weeks, days and hours after her diagnosis are some that my sister and I will cherish the most because then we began to experience every living breathing moment with her — it was truly a gift as a friend once told me. She would spend the first six months with my sister, Susan while she was undergoing the initial treatments, then she said she “wanted to come home,” to Odessa.

There were many precious moments filled with laughter, tears, conversation and music. And those precious memories are like snuggly blankets that comfort us when thoughts of her cross our minds.

It has been exactly five years since I traveled to Odessa to interview for the city editor’s job at the Odessa American and to spend what I never dreamed would be the last Mother’s Day with my mother.

On that day, in 2011, I rushed in from Abilene to meet the editor at the Barn Door. It wasn’t long before I felt it — I would be coming home to be with Mother. It was a God thing.

After a two-and-a-half hour lunch, I headed to the car wash, and while waiting in line, I called her. When I heard her voice tears began rolling down my face.

“Mom, it looks like I’m coming home,” I told her.

“Thank God! Our prayers have been answered,” she said her voice breaking with emotion. We both cried — it was a precious moment indeed.

Two days later on Mother’s Day as we dined on pork tenderloin, we took a walk down memory lane.

She recalled one of her early jobs as my personal hair dresser. Every morning until she quit the job (when I was 14), it was routine for me to sit down in front of the mirror and wait for her to fix my hair.

“You had to have your hair perfect,” she told me.

And how, when we were sick, she would pick me or my sister up, dry our tears and give us “a spoon full of sugar,” ala Mary Poppins, so “the medicine would go down.”

And when I couldn’t sleep because of the medicine, she brought in a deck of cards and taught me how to play Blackjack and Five Card Stud. Some folks may remember she had a way with a deck of cards, particularly around the bridge table.

How she lovingly tended to my little sister Susan, when she was in the hospital in Houston, recovering from open heart surgery — but still took the time to go out and buy me some fancy pajamas and read me a bedtime story.

We laughed when we remembered my dad’s love for his black Naugahyde recliner and how he even retrieved it from the alley when it mysteriously disappeared from the living room.

And how she felt when she held her first grandchild in her arms, and how proud she was of all four of them as they grew up.

And how she loved to play the guitar and sing, something our whole family loved to do with her — but she was always the shining star.

She scoffed when I reminded her of the time she performed “St. Louis Blues” at my sister’s wedding with Long John Hunter and the Walking Catfish. We still love to watch the video — people were standing on tables clapping for her.

Then there was that evening in November 2011 when time stopped as my sister and a friend joined Mother for a conga line through the house — dancing to Michael Buble — another cherished moment and gift. Days later, she became too weak to walk.

In March 2012, my sister and I held hands and cried as we listened to Glen Campbell, one of her favorites, perform at the Wagner Noël in Odessa. There were two empty seats — we imagined she was in one and my father was in the other.

And I know she was watching over us all in May of 2013 as we watched my youngest daughter graduate from Texas State University with a dual degree in mass communication and French. Making it to her graduation was a goal Mom had — something she had hoped to do.

That October, in 2011, brought one of the sweetest memories — she performed for the last time with her only sibling, her brother Jack, with a tear-filled crowd looking on as the brother-sister duo sang one of her favorite songs “Satisfied Mind.” When she got to this last verse, her chin quivered and when she choked up for a second her brother instinctively took over.

“…When my life has ended,

And my time has run out

My friends and my loved ones,

Will weep there's no doubt

But there's one thing for certain,

When it comes my time

I'll leave this old world

With a satisfied mind…”

And she did.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom, we love and miss you so.