Having been loved by my mom is one of the few feelings that has stayed with me from childhood, that and my crushing uncertainty about being loved.
I asked myself this morning when I woke up, What makes a mother's love special? Of course there may be some inescapable biological aspects to those feelings, but I've known enough orphans and adoptees who feel the same to know that biology alone does not explain all of it. Having felt loved, from an early age, is something that stays with you. Or, it can. People need to feel nurtured, at times, and safe. I never got the feeling that one day I might have to fight my mom for a pork chop. I remember building forts in the living room with my brother and her.
Feeling loved seems to be a mixture of the love that another person shows for you and what you repeat to yourself about it. Once your mother is gone you have fewer things to repeat to yourself. It is best to stick to the stories concerning the glory of love, avoid the other stuff.
To watch the boy express his love for mom is really something - sweet and pure and true. It is enough to make me happy.