This May marks the first Mother's Day since Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro lost his beloved mom, Mary Valastro — but instead of being sad, Buddy and his family have chosen to pay tribute to Mary on the special day. "It’s been nearly a year now without my mother and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and her incredible energy," the 41-year-old penned.
"I’m so thankful she had the chance to meet, love, and hold all four of my children. To be in the presence of my mother and to know her was such a gift that I will remain forever grateful for," Buddy wrote in a touching Mother's Day message recently published by People.
Mary sadly passed away at age 69 on June 22, 2017, from complications of pneumonia following an eight-year battle with ALS. "It’s with an extremely heavy heart that I must share the news of my mother’s passing. She left for heaven this morning, surrounded by the family," Buddy confirmed via Instagram at the time.
"This is a difficult time for all of us and I do ask for your patience and respect while we let this sink in. Her battle with ALS has ended, she is no longer suffering, and I hope she’s dancing to 'I Will Survive' with my dad right now," he continued. Buddy's father, Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro, Sr., died in March 1994 at age 54 after a short battle with lung cancer.
Just a few weeks ago, Buddy took to Instagram to sweetly remember his late mom on what would have been her 70th birthday. "Spending today remembering just how much we love and miss our dear momma," he wrote. "Wish we were all together celebrating but hope she’s having a great time with dad. Happy birthday!"
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Closer Weekly.