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My mother lived with a chronic illness, but the sickness that took her away from me was quick and unexpected. I always told my mom I loved her, but in the years since her death, I often think of other things I wish I'd said to her. Sometimes, "I love you" can't convey what your mother means to you. Here are 15 things to say to your mom this Mother's Day.

1. You're beautiful. Women never tire of hearing this, yet somehow never believe it.

2. Thank you. You can never say this enough. The list of things moms do for you is endless.

3. Can you write that down? From household tips to family stories, the list of things my mom told me, that I've now forgotten, is huge. I wish I'd thought to ask her to write it down.

4. What is your recipe for potato salad? No one makes it quite like mom. You will crave it your family will ask you for it, so make sure her signature recipe is handed down in writing.

5. Tell me about the day I was born, again. Hearing the story, you can't help but feel like the most wonderful thing to ever come into your mom's life. When your mom is gone, you'll want to remember every detail.

6. Let's just sit and talk. Enjoy the time you have together. Take the time to get to know her as a person and not just your mom. Ask about her friends, her hobbies, things she's done, and things she'd like to do. Let her know she's worth your time and attention.

7. How old was I when...? Mom is practically the only source for knowledge of your milestones. Dads only seem to remember the events, not the time frame.

8. Let me do the dishes. A dish-free evening is one of the most appreciated gifts you'll ever give to a mother. She'll get up from the table with a weight lifted from her shoulders.

9. I'm sorry. Over the years, you'll inconvenience your mom, disobey her, embarrass her and even hurt her. It's a good thing to acknowledge her patience and unconditional love.

10. I forgive you. Over the years, your mom will inconvenience you, embarrass you and even hurt you. Let her know you love her anyway.

11. What can I do for you? You can't count the things your mom has done for you. Look for something you can do to lighten her load and lift her heart. Don't take "no" for an answer.

12. I admire the way you ... Moms like to be heroes, too. Let her know you notice and value the way she lives her life. Thank her for specific lessons she has taught.

13. May I have a hug? Don't shy away from physical affection. No one will ever hold you like your mother.

14. You're the best mom in the world. She may protest, but every mother wants to think you believe it.

15. I love you, no matter what. In the end, moms are just like us. They want to know love is all embracing and unconditional.

This article was originally published on FamilyShare.com.

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