March 27, 2018 06:49 PM

Vicki Gunvalson is receiving birthday blessings from above.

The Real Housewives of Orange County star turned 56 on Tuesday and was reminded of her late mother, Joanne Steinmetz, in the most touching way on the eve of her birthday.

While going through her nightstand on Monday night, Gunvalson found the last card her mom ever gave her on a previous birthday.

“I found this birthday card from my mom by accident last night in my nightstand. I guess it was her way of telling me Happy Birthday from heaven,” Gunvalson wrote in the caption. “It was my last card I received from her as she died February 2015. #happybirthdaytome #missingher #mymom.“

Gunvalson shared two photos of the purple and white card — featuring flowers and butterflies — which includes printed text that reads, “With love, daughter on your special day these birthday wishes, filled with love, could only be for you, a daughter who is wonderful, and lovely, through and through!”

Steinmetz signed it “love you, very much.”

Three years ago, Gunvalson learned of the sudden passing of her mother while RHOC cameras were rolling on the 10th season of the Bravo reality series.

“What do you mean? What happened? No!” Gunvalson cried, after taking a phone call in the middle of a bunco party thrown by castmate Shannon Beador. “Briana, I can’t do this,” she said to her daughter before collapsing on the kitchen floor. “Oh, my God. I don’t want to believe this.”

Continued Gunvalson, “How could she die? She wasn’t sick at all. Damn it.”

“What’s going on?” Beador asked, walking into the kitchen.

“My mom just died,” she yelled as Beador held her. “How could she die?”

“Oh my God. I’m so sorry,” said Beador.

“I just talked to her this morning,” said a stunned Gunvalson as all the wives rushed in to hold her and help her.

“There’s nothing you can do to make her feel better,” said costar Tamra Judge.

“I just want my mom back. I want my mom,” cried Gunvalson. “I have to go see my mom right now. I want to be with my mom.” She continued in tears: “I need her every day. I need her so bad. Who’s going to worry about me? I don’t have parents now. I need my parents. I need my mom.”

Months after her mother’s death, Gunvalson spoke with Andy Cohen during a July 2015 interview on Watch What Happens Live.

“My mother was perfect in my eyes,” said Gunvalson. “Even though she was a pain in my butt sometimes, she was perfect.”

Vicki Gunvalson and her late mother Joanne Steinmetz
Vicki Gunvalson/Facebook

“I don’t really remember that evening. I just really couldn’t believe my mother was dead,” she said.

Though the heart-wrenching moment was caught on cameras, Gunvalson doesn’t regret the moment being filmed.

“It’s part of my reality. I lost my mother. I signed up for all areas of my life to be exposed – the good and the bad,” she said. “There’s been a lot of great moments that have been aired, and there’s a lot of moments that I wish I wasn’t on a reality show. This is not a moment that I feel as of right now that I regret because statistically people are going to lose their parents, right?”

“We’re going to be alive when our parents die, statistically,” Gunvalson continued. “I don’t blame Bravo, I don’t blame anybody – it’s my life.”

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