Summary: After the events of Perfect Light, Jack and Sam's daughter, Grace, reflects on the blessing of motherhood. (For those unfamiliar with Perfect Light, Grace is in her early forties and Sam passed away less than a year ago.)

I miss you, Mom.

This is my first Mother's Day without you and I didn't know it would be so hard. Actually, it's the evening before Mother's Day and I'm already feeling lost. You should be here.

They'll be home soon, Jim and Alyssa. Jim, my fiancé, took Alyssa out to find a Mother's Day gift for me. I'm getting suspicious; I think the two of them are up to something more than a potted plant this year. I'm so fortunate to have both of them.

I hope you knew how important you were in my life, Mom. I probably didn't tell you nearly enough. Sitting here tonight, waiting for my daughter to come home with the man soon to be my husband, well I can't imagine where I'd have been without you.

You taught me how to live an incredible life, Mom. I watched you every day growing up. What I saw became my model of motherhood. And what I saw was a woman so vibrant and alive that I couldn't help wanting everything you had.

Of course I had no idea of the extraordinary things you and Dad did when I was little; I just knew you were both larger than life, my heroes. I always felt safe, no matter what happened. You taught me there was always a way to deal with whatever life tossed my way, no matter what it was. And no matter what I did, you and Dad would always love me, unconditionally.

When I got older, I started to see how exceptional you really were. Since it wasn't cool to tell you, I usually didn't, but I knew it in my heart, Mom. A high pressure military career, a marriage that meant the world to you, three other children, and still you could make me feel I was the most important person in the world.

After I met Paul, I started to appreciate how special you and Dad were. I guess what I mean is, how special and precious your love was. Unlike some of my friends, I knew exactly what I wanted in a relationship. I wanted what you and Dad had. From watching you, I'd learned how to go about forming that kind of bond with someone. And with the right person, it wasn't hard at all.

Paul and I were so happy. And Alyssa, when she was born I was thrilled to finally be a mother. I was glad we'd stayed close by you and Dad for awhile. I sure needed help learning some of the finer points of being a new mom and you were always right there for me.

Before I knew it, I was living the life I'd envied you. A challenging career, a wonderful marriage and a beautiful little girl -- I had everything I could want. Then we lost Paul. I thought a part of me had died with him. You tried so hard to comfort me. It must have felt like rejection when I took Alyssa to Othalla with me. I hope you understood. I needed to go away where we could get help. The fact that the Asgard were emotionless creatures was an added attraction. Somehow, I thought I could forget the pain with them.

But you stayed my Mom even then. Always reaching out to me, until I could reach back, reminding me there would come a day when it wouldn't hurt quite so much. I want Alyssa to always know that kind of love from me. I think she will; I've learned it from you.

And you were right. Little by little, the horrible pain of loss eased. And I became able to love again. Jim and I found each other a little over a year ago. I'm so glad I could tell you about him before you died. I only wish you could have met each other. You'd have liked him. He's a little like Dad, outspoken, irreverent, and funny when he wants to be. He makes me laugh. And he loves me.

Thank you, Mom for teaching me to love.

Well, I can hear the car; they're home. I can hardly wait to see what Jim has up his sleeve. Alyssa's almost as bad, and can she ever keep a secret! You'd be proud of your granddaughter, Mom. She's an incredible child, well almost teenager. In spite of all her challenges, she's strong, confident and loving, a great kid, my daughter. I have so much and I am so grateful.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

A/N: I was thinking of my mother today, preparing for tomorrow's visit, when this little piece wrote itself.