What You Taught Me

I find myself trying to go back to that moment. Recalling the weather, my racing mind, and many other seemingly unimportant factors that were a part of that day. Today I stop myself. By living in that moment I am taking advantage of the very one that I am blessed with right now.

Life is truly remarkable. One second you think you’ve got the hang of things, only to turn around and realize you’re not even close. I write to you today on a very meaningful day in my life. 8 years ago, to the day, I lost my mother due to a sudden accident. This has been hands down the most difficult thing I’ve experienced in life so far. But ya know what, I’m still breathing. I spend this day like any other. Wake up early for my breakfast, fit in my run, work my 4-close shift, but in the back of my mind I feel special. It took me many years to realize that everyone grieves differently. I have felt bad for myself, and assumed that just because I don’t have my mother here on Earth, that I am doomed to some unnatural state of being. Like all of a sudden I’m less fortunate because my path is much different from another person. I gave into this way of thinking for many years after her passing. Then I realized, that’s not what my mom taught me for the 15 years I DID have her here.

Life is ironic. Every year for my birthday my mom got me a card. As a little girl I loved these cards, but I would have no idea the meaning they would eventually hold. I want to share a card that stands out in particular. 2004, I was turning 11. Like any other 11-year-old, my thoughts remain consistent “sure the card is nice, but bring on the cash, mom!” Who knows how much money was in that card, but 12 years later I’ll be the first to tell you of the love that was inside.

outside card

inside card

How could she ever have picked such a perfect card?  I didn’t know I was “teaching” her anything, that was HER job to teach ME. Well mother, let me tell you that for 22 years I have done nothing but learn from you. You taught me how to appreciate all the people in my life. I hug a little harder, and love much deeper because of you. You taught me that my dad is my hero. Knowing that he would someday have to tell his children that their mom was no longer part of this world, makes him the strongest person I know. You taught me who I am. When faced with adversity I do not lay down and take it, I fight back. I refuse to let anything break me of the person I can be. Losing you was hard, but it put me on the path of self discovery. You taught me how to live freely and embrace any obstacle that life might throw at me, because everything happens for a reason.

Life is many things. What life is not, is a guarantee. Why should I sit here today and feel bad for myself because I don’t have something someone else does? I won’t. I have a mother, her name is Patricia and I will tell you everything wonderful that she was. I will not focus on my mother’s mistakes in life because a part of my growth is learning forgiveness. Instead, I celebrate her life. I take time to thank her for blessing me with my own life. I live each and every day because of her, and with her spirit. Part of my journey was losing my mom. I have accepted that fact, and embraced how it has shaped me. What makes me sad is when I see people here on Earth take advantage of what is right in front of them. Take a good look around you and don’t focus on what you’re missing. Go hug your loved one sitting in the next room over. Call up your relative in a different state and let them know you’re thinking of them. Make amends with someone you don’t always agree with. You truly never know what your last moment may be with that person.

As we grow up, losing our parents is a cruel reality we fight to accept. If someone would have told me I’d only have 15 years with my mom, I never would have believed them. As humans we tend to think “that could never be me”. Now, the older I get the more I realize I’m not alone, not even close. I can almost promise that someone reading this right now knows the same loss that I do. I encourage anyone struggling to look at the bright side of things. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. My mother did not give me life to live it upset, neither did yours. Love your journey no matter how messed up, backwards, and unbearable you think it might be. Often times it is through our adversities that we find our strength.

Life is too short to spend it anything less than in love. I am learning to love myself for who I am. I love each and every individual who plays a part in my growth no matter how big or small a part they have. Love is not measured by the amount you can offer, rather the quality of love you can provided in the time you were given. I thank you mommy, for without knowing, offering me the most precious and pure love I could have ever asked for. For my mother, this is what you taught me.

mommy

To my beautiful guardian angel: Rest easy, I love you forever and always.

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