Happy Birthday, Momma!
Today is the birthday of the greatest human I have ever known, the woman who brought me into this world, the caretaker who has nurtured me every step of the way, the teacher who imparts sage wisdom, the most inspiring role model I could possibly dream of, the courageous leader in work and life, the beacon of light and hope, my favorite person to do anything, everything and absolutely nothing with every second of every day anywhere, so long as we’re together: my mother, Judi Shils. Momma, you are a gift to this world, leading a life of compassion, innovation, passion and impact in all you do with such grace, infectious spirit, beautiful humility and true power. You have more integrity, heart and optimism than any soul I’ve ever encountered. The positivity and proactivity you embody excites countless individuals (who cross your path, admire, adore and stand in awe of you!), grounding and amplifying the selfless and tireless good work to which you devote your every waking minute. You exist to make the world a better place, to do right for my generation, to heal the earth, to champion justice, to fight for what is right, no matter what. And still, you make time to be the single most remarkable mother on the face of the planet, never more than in the past three months, when I have needed you. This is by far the most time we’ve spent together since I moved across the country at age 16 — and while it’s been horrific, harrowing and hellish beyond belief, we’ve navigated this road of recovery together, side by side, hand in hand, #MommaAndBuni. For that and for gifting me with a phenomenal life against all odds, instilling in me values I cherish, showing me treasures of the world, building campaigns of which we can both feel proud, rooting me in our rich community, cheering me on in whatever I do, wanting to be a part of my life and include me in yours, and a myriad of magic, I am eternally grateful. To celebrate YOU on your birthday, to simply be together, to find a much-needed and well-deserved moment to relax, to see your radiant youthful energy shine brightly is absolutely everything. May we be so blessed to walk this earth in health, in peace, in goodness, in purpose for many more rotations around the sun, adventures, simchas and years to come. I love you more than the sun, moon and stars combined. Happiest of birthdays to my hero, my rock, my mother, my world.