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>I drove my beautiful mother to San Francisco this morning. Today is Mom’s birthday–82 years. Her birthday wish included a visit to the Impressionist exhibit at the De Young museum and lunch at Scoma’s on the wharf. Perfect.

We moved slowly through the exhibit, utterly captivated. I stood in front of one masterpiece after another. Manet, Renoir, Sisley, Degas, Monet, Cezanne. The art glowed–brilliant, timeless. In spite of the acclaimed paintings on every wall, my eyes returned again and again to one extraordinary work of art. My mother. She glowed, light rippling from her. One word burned in my mind as I watched her from a distance. Masterpiece.

82 years of well-chosen brushstrokes applied patiently and with purpose have rendered her brilliant, timeless. The pallet that colors her life is love. Love of God, love of family, love of fellow man, love of anything “virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy.” Love of life.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I’m glad you were born. Your birth, in truth, was the genesis of my life as well. Art and artist, you have made me. Thank you for wanting me, for applying your artistry to the rough canvas of my soul.

I drove to San Francisco this morning to look at great works of art. The true masterpiece sat next to me in the passenger seat. Pardon me if I stare.