She encouraged me to be creative when other mamas encouraged doing what it took to be the most popular. She is tender hearted and smart and never told us we were better than anyone. She’s a writer with a southern voice that reminds me of Fannie Flagg and Lewis Grizzard, my biggest encourager who made art with me after school and sat beside me on the bus to Washington DC in 6th grade when no one else would. I call her 3 times a day to tell her everything and nothing, and we share large Chick-Fil-A fries over lunch a few times a week so neither of us feel too guilty about the calories. Today and every day, I’m thankful she’s my mama and best friend. I love you, mama.