If you watched as many episodes of Cake Boss as I did, you know that the hit reality show is about more than just baking.
Getting to know "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro's eccentric family members was part of the fun too, and no one measured up to his feisty mom Mary Valastro.
Sadly, Mary passed away last June, after a long battle with ALS.
On the anniversary of her death, Valastro shared a heartfelt tribute that just might bring tears to your eyes.
"I would not be the man I am today without her."
Valastro told Radar Online that he was so close with his mother because they bonded after the death of his father, Bartolo "Buddy" Sr.
"She was my biggest fan, she was my mom, she was my hero," Valastro said.
"I would not be the man I am today without her.”
But on the first anniversary of her death, Valastro revealed that his feelings about losing Mary are complicated.
"I’m sad that the mom I know isn’t here — but with the ALS, I’m glad that God took her. I’m relieved for her because it wasn’t fair."
Valastro watched his mother's agonizing years-long battle with ALS up close. He remembers noticing one day that Mary had forgotten how to brush her teeth.
He says he's actually comforted knowing she's finally at peace.
"My mom went to church every Sunday, and whenever she would talk about death, she’d say, ‘I’m not afraid because I’m going to heaven; I’m going to be with God,'" Valastro told People.
"And I really believe that’s where she is. She’s singing ‘I Will Survive’ and my dad is baking."
"I don’t want to remember how she was during the last two years of her life"
On the anniversary of her death, Valastro shared a beautiful photo of himself and his mother with a sweet message.
"Spending the day on the water with the whole famiglia and have been thinking of her for all of it," he wrote on Instagram.
"It’s been a year today since we said our goodbye for now and while I know she’s up there with dad, I miss her so much. Love you mom."
In the year since she passed away, Valastro has also kept his mother's memory alive through the foundation named after her.
The Momma Mary Foundation raises awareness for ALS, to help other families and caretakers in the same situation that Valastro once was.
"The day she passed was so mixed," Valastro remembered.
"It was a mixture of sadness and relief because she wasn’t really living at the time. This disease is horrible and it takes a toll on you, and she wasn’t that firecracker she always was."
"I don’t want to remember how she was during the last two years of her life, because that wasn’t her”
What a heartfelt message. We miss Mary too, and wish Buddy all the best.
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