Rita Braver's Mother's Day wish

Rita Braver's mother, Jeanette Braver (or "Maga"), with her daughters in an undated picture.

My mother is not a good cook. Until I got to college, I thought broccoli was a yellow vegetable.

I say this only so that I'll have credibility when I tell you how SPECTACULAR she is in so many other ways.

She was known as the prettiest mother in our neighborhood, and the nicest.

Maga - as we all call her now - will be 90 in a few weeks.

And the other day, when someone asked what the best advice she'd ever given me was, I realized that she never gave much advice. She just set an example.

She was room mother, Vice President of the PTA, and Girl Scout Leader, too.

When my father died, leaving her a widow at age 43, she had to raise three teenage daughters alone.- working as a government secretary.

She did the grocery shopping, house-keeping, bill paying. She never complained. She never criticized.

But I never realized how much she must have loved me ... until I became a mother myself.

I just wasn't expecting to fall so madly in love.

Suddenly I realized how hard it must have been for my Mom to just let me be - to cross the street by myself, never mind go away to college.

When my daughter, Meredith, was little, she used to ask me what I'd like for Mother's Day.

It was always something I could never have - to remember her just the way she was at that very moment, the tilt of her head, her smile (especially when her baby teeth fell out).

Now my daughter has a baby. His name is Teddy. This is HER first Mother's Day as a Mom -

My first as a GRANDMOTHER.

And though I always promised myself NOT to be one of those Grandmas who's constantly making people look at baby pictures ...

Well, you see what I mean...

So, what am I hoping for this Mother's Day?

Well, once again, I don't think I'm going to get it.

Years ago, I told Meredith that as I got older, I hoped to be as nice as my mother, Maga.

My daughter replied, "No one is as nice as Maga, so don't even try."