I cry easily. Always have. Sentimental movies or Hallmark cards, one particular Folger’s coffee commercial, the sight of the Olympic athletes on the podium during the National Anthem, most everything that even slightly touches the heartstrings often prompts me to sob openly.

Normally, I don’t apologize for wiping my eyes on my sleeve, but occasionally I wish I weren’t so easily brought to tears. Specifically, Mom’s birthday is coming up in a few days, and suddenly I find myself not wanting to cry in front of her.

She’ll be 81, and that’s no spring chicken. And since I’m smart enough to know her number will come up sooner or later, I find myself wondering if this will be the last time I see her every time I see her, and I think she’s probably thinking the same thing.

So I’ve been practicing my happy face, and hoping I won’t need any tissues when I leave her this time. But I’m not betting on it.