Mom, what can I possibly say about her which would be at all adequate? The best tribute to Mom is that she raised five children who are all responsible adults. I chalk that up to the fact that she instilled in us a sense of the importance of education, and she embodied the values that she espoused. Hypocrisy has always been foreign to Mom- it was always something she hated, and she realized that kids have a keen sense for it, so she avoided it at all times.
Growing up, we always had money for educational programs and sports equipment, even when money was tight... we weren't the type of people who indulged in material luxuries. For instance, we went many years without a television, though there were always plenty of books in the house.
Having five kids, Mom always had room for more under her roof, so our house was the go-to place for all of our friends throughout our lives (from grammar school buddies to grad school buddies to my brothers' Army comrades), many of whom still drop by when they are passing through Northern Virginia. Did I mention that extending hospitality was another value that Mom stressed?
I am grateful for the values and traits that Mom instilled in my siblings and I, the values being handed down to the next generation, which is also thriving. I guess living up to her standards is the best birthday present that we could give her.