Two years ago today was the last time I saw my mom alive. The last several years she was able to, she volunteered at a no-kill shelter for cats and dogs. Her “specialty” were injured/maimed and ill cats, and many of them lived with FIV or Feline Leukemia. Other volunteers were busy working hard, cleaning out litter boxes and vacuuming, unable to hold the cats, talk and whisper to them, or even give them a reason to purr. These were the cats that would never get adopted. Several died in her arms. Her spiritual gift was unconditional love, and it was not reserved for just animals. We were best friends, but I always rested in the knowledge that her family extended beyond her busy and active children. She understood the challenges that came with long-term chronic illness, like they did.