For those of you who have gotten to know me through my writings at RedState, and to those who were enjoying my almost daily Watercooler open threads, I apologize for my abrupt absence the last several weeks. Not to diminish the significance of Memorial Day -- a day set aside to honor the many soldiers who have paid the ultimate price for the sake of our country -- I wanted to acknowledge the recent passing of a different kind of warrior.

Some of you may have heard me mention the reason I had such a constant presence at RedState over the last couple of years was because I became the primary caregiver for my mother who suffered from complications of a stroke and a brain tumor. Her condition declined to the point where she could no longer live alone so I stopped working to care for her. I never would have found the time to spend at RedState if it were not for these circumstances.

On May 11, 2013, my mom's battle came to a very heroic end as she took her last breath here at her home with me and my son at her side. I just wanted to say thank you to her for the courage she showed throughout her difficult life. And I wanted to say thank you one more time to RedState for filling the many lonely hours I spent here and teaching me so much about politics and conservatism.

It's been a challenging experience for me. When I first moved into my mother's house, we thought she may not have much time left. But she held on for three and a half more years. So, I am in a grieving period of decompressing and seeking the Lord for how to move on with my life now.

In the meantime, I will not be here as much but will always stop by and write from time to time. Thanks to all who have become my friends and acquaintances.

Of course, I can't leave you without another Margaret Becker song taken from the first commandment, "You shall have no other Gods before Me." Exodus 20:3

The Watercooler is always an open thread.