47.

On most days I reminisce about my mother.

But on birthdays and holidays, her death sticks out a little louder. It’s inevitable.

Today would have been her 47th birthday. Wow, mom. You’re getting old. I would have said over a slice of pie or a tin of cheesecake. And I’m certain she would have wrinkles around her eyes where they lit up every time she smiled or laughed. They would have been doubled by now. Her eyes, a dreamy green. And her smile, everlasting.

I would have bought her a new pair of pajamas to replace the one’s from the year before. It would have been a tradition. Because more often than not, she would be at home snuggling up next to a heater with some kind of patterned pajamas to stay cozy. And we’d most likely sing her Happy Birthday outrageously loud and purposefully off tune. And she’d insist we go for a walk through the nature park and have a picnic near the water. I imagine it would have been a beautiful sunny day.

And of course. We would have spent most of the day finding a simple way to serve somebody. Even on her birthday she would have thought of anybody but herself.

Maybe we’d break out the karaoke machine and sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” or “Wind Beneath my Wings.” And we’d laugh until we peed our pants. And at the end of the day she’d want a bath and I’d naturally wash her back for her as we’d philosophically talk about life.

It’s the simple things we cherish the most. And my mother taught me that by example. For that I am eternally grateful, because without that knowledge…I might just let life pass me by without genuinely enjoying all the little things that we easily can miss.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I sure miss you.

 

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45.

Image

She would have been 45 today.

To adolescents, maybe 45 seems so far away. It feels like a lifetime. But to the rest, 45 is not even halfway. It’s not even a glimpse of enough time. And she didn’t even make it that far. And I tell myself she would be pulling out little white hairs now and cursing her “old” age as she looked unsatisfyingly into the mirror tracing yet another unwanted wrinkle that she could clearly point out, but that most others would barely even notice. Because as humans we take our age for granted. It’s a reminder that we’re not as young as we used to be. As if that’s a reason to limit ourselves. As if that’s an excuse not to celebrate another year, because we’re not as young as we’d like to be.

But today I celebrate her life. Her life is in each leaf I see blooming as the newly awoken trees stretch their branches for another Spring. Her life is in a stranger’s smile as I pass them by, catching their infectious grin. Her life is in the laughter of children sliding down a slide. Her life is in the voices of friends and family, reminding me of the kind spirited woman she was. Her life is in the rays of sunshine that warm my toes and kiss my skin. Her life is in the beat of my heart as I steadfastly move on, day to day, living a life she only dreamed of for me.

Death is inevitable. It’s something we can’t escape. It’s something we are taught to prepare for and live life to the fullest. But when that life is cut short, something about the nature of this world shifts. We fall down. We collapse. It feels unbearable. It feels impossible. My mother was young. She was healthy, despite the cancer that lived in her blood. And she was taken too soon. That’s something I will never understand. I don’t think I’m suppose to. But from her death, there have come harsh lessons and great rewards. My trials are a never-ending reminder that I’m still alive. Even if she couldn’t make it to forty five.

Sometimes I have days where I feel like I’m falling from Cloud 9. Or that I’m climbing a ladder going nowhere. It almost seems pointless. But then I reminded about the simple joys of life. And I remember the quiet lessons my mother taught me by example.

– my mother was the kind of person who rooted for the underdog. because of her I never put myself above anyone else.
-my mother was able to forgive those who wronged her in her dying days. she showed me a kind of strength i never thought possible. because of her I’ve learned to let go of my grudges.
– my mother had the greatest sense of humor. because of her, I try to bring a little more laughter into this world.
– my mother graduated from college. she may have done it later on in her life, but she did it — and because of her I value my education and the power that comes with it.
– my mother was a nurse. she cared about people, genuinely. and she served others without asking for anything in return. because of her, I know the importance of serving others and cherishing the simple moments in life.
– my mother didn’t play by the rules. we ate out on sundays. we were friends with every kind of person. we talked about pooping and farting. we talked in accents. we watched R rated movies. we ate ice cream cake with our hands (burr). we sang karaoke and didn’t bleep out the swear words. we peed with the door open. we lived life the way we wanted to, not by how everyone else thought we should, how society or our church expected us to, but how we felt was good for us. because of her, I don’t panic about making mistakes. I learn from them and I don’t sweat the small stuff.
– my mother tried to bring her family together. she tried to make others feel included. because of her, I want to surround myself with family and friends who make me feel good, and who can laugh at my jokes, and listen to me on a bad day.
– my mother was a beautiful, strong, hard working, silly, amazing woman. and I will always remember her for the things she did for me.

I am so fortunate for the short time I shared with my mom. She taught me more in 12 years than most learn in a lifetime.

Thank you mom. I love you so much. Happy Birthday. 

I don’t have her.

I’ve often thought about the words my mother would say to me if she were still alive. I feel I’m always thinking about the “what if’s”. I promise I’m not burdened as much with her loss anymore. I’ve felt free for a while now, but I don’t believe I’ll ever stop wanting to hear her voice. There are days where I feel cold and unwanted and lost. And those days might be less frequent if I had my mother to call at a moments notice. She was always better at the emotional stuff then my dad ever will be.

More and more I hear, not only from movies and tv shows, etc, but from my close friends and family, about their mother/daughter relationships. I spent a night just listening to others talk about their mom. It wasn’t really something I blurted out saying I DON’T HAVE A MOM STOP TALKING ABOUT YOURS, but I felt it. I realized that that’s not fair. Why deny someone else’s happiness and freedom to share stories about their mothers simply because my mother is no longer here? That was wrong of me; however, I don’t feel guilty for expressing those feelings. They are real. I know I wouldn’t feel this was if I too had a mother.

I’m often reminded that I do have a mother. I HAD a mother is what I’d rather say. It helps reassure that she’s not coming back. Not in this lifetime. I’m not sure if or when I’ll ever see her again. So I HAD A MOTHER is more accurate. Her memory is there, but I’m a different person now then I was at 12 years old. My relationship with my mother wouldn’t be the same to this day. I don’t know the person she would be to me today, because she’s gone. Because I’ve never met her as an adult. It saddens me to no end. It’s something I long for. I’ll never stop longing for it. That’s the biggest missing puzzle piece of my life.

April 19th is her birthday. She would be 44 this year. Still young. Still full of life.

I miss her so much it hurts. In 2 years it will be a decade since her death. And by that time I hope to be graduated and on my way to new and exciting things, without her.

I hate it when people say she’s there. She’s not. And when they say she’d be proud of me, I don’t know that. I’d like to believe she would be. I don’t know. I guess I’m just selfish. But God I can’t hold her; therefore, everything else is irrelevant. If I can’t see her and hear her – then I don’t have her.

I love my mom. I am grateful that we did have 12 years together. She fought as hard as she could for as long as she could, and I’m lucky for that.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

20 years ago, I was dead.

Purple. That is the color my father uses to describe his first encounter of my skin. My heart wasn’t beating when I escaped my mother’s womb. She was diabetic, and having children wasn’t encouraged by her doctors. But God had a different plan, and 20 years later I am stronger than ever.

I can hardly comprehend that I am now 2 decades old. I finally feel my age. Maybe it’s the sound of twenty or the fact that I no longer have to use the word teen when describing my years of life. Either way, I have never felt more comfortable saying my age out loud. I feel like it fits with the rest of me. 20, however young it may be, feels years away from where I was as a teenager. I feel like I left that part of me years ago. I’ve had to grow up fast, and for the first time since that speedy process started — I’m finally content with being an adult.

It seems like just a few days ago, I was 18. Believing it was the best age to be and that I was going places… 

I suppose the phrase “age is just a number” applies to my life accordingly. An age will not define me. However, once again, I feel much more comfortable nonetheless.

I had an extremely wonderful 20th birthday. I have unbelievable friends who do more for me than they realize. By just being there, they amaze me. Thank you sincerely for dinner, dessert and good company tonight.

I like having a birthday at the beginning of the year. It’s easy to count the years, but it’s also nice to begin a fresh start.

Anyway — To finally get to the content of my title: 20 years ago, I was dead…

Like I said before, I was dead when I arrived in this world. It was hard on my mother to give birth, and being her second child — I had exhausted her raw. The doctors surrounded my mother and my heart stayed still. My father’s step-sister (an RN) gave me simple CPR and I breathed my first breath because of her. I’m thankful for her. I only remember seeing her a few times in my life, but I am truly thankful to her — because I am alive due to her efforts. Thanks Holly. 

I’m lucky to be alive. I’m thankful that my mother made it through the pregnancy to raise me to 12 years, and I’m thankful to my father for helping me out along the way.

I’m so thankful for my sister who keeps me sane.

I have good people in my life. I may be another year older, but boy I know I’m another year wiser. This past year I have been challenged, and I hope to God that never ends — because it means I’m living and fighting to continue to live — and it’s a good feeling to be alive.

 

Happy Birthday to me.

 

#celebrate.