Happy Birthday, Mom.

Twenty-four years ago, on May 4th, 1989, my mom was nine months pregnant with me on her birthday.

The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio created a blog prompt to “talk about a woman who has given you opportunity,” in line with their Keyholder event, which encompasses the Half the Sky movement. I want to talk about my mom. And it’s just perfect timing, since tomorrow is her birthday.

Perhaps I seem cliché, choosing my mother and all. I don’t care. Because my mom is the greatest person I’ve ever met.

Liz and Rae

Fittingly, Half the Sky brought us closer. We both read and discussed the book, sharing our reactions and theories about the status of women in the world. Our conversations helped us to understand each other, comprehend the complexity of life for women, and analyze the abundance of opportunity we possess.

Rae and Liz

My mom gave me opportunity by choosing to have a baby over buying a boat. It’s true.

There are many real ways my mom has given me opportunity, from paying for much of my college tuition, to offering me a position to grow in her business, to supporting my dreams. There are also ways that aren’t easy to see, like her love for life, her eagerness to continue learning, and her ambitious determination.

But truthfully, she gave me opportunity by being a mother and a mentor; she gave me opportunity by being there–always.

I can’t wait to experience The Women’s Fund Keyholder event with her on May 9. To experience it with someone who means a lot to you, you can buy tickets here: http://www.womensfundcentralohio.org/what-we-do/keyholder/

Rae Reed is the Founder of OutLoud Magazine, a freelance writer, and a feminist. She loves Columbus, sweet wine, and meaningful conversation. Follow her: @RaeLivesOutLoud.