Losing a parent is indescribable. The sorrow stays with you. It creeps in to should-be-happy moments, faded memories, fake smiles, the facade of you "being strong" and "having it together". It festers, unapologetically and intentionally. It compromises your confidence. Weakens your self-worth. Reminds you of a happier time.
Truth is, it hurts like hell. Makes you angry, despite trusting God. Makes you feel empty at times. Makes you feel... less.
I was 14 years old when my mother passed away. She was 48 years old. She was all I wanted to ever be. Gentle, giving, kind. A beautiful spirit, inside and out. To know her, was to love her.
I had to find my way in darkness. Stumbling. Falling. Failing. At times, I still feel lost and afraid without her. I miss her more than ever as I search for answers as a mother myself.
My son is now the age I was when I lost her. A teenager. Knowing it all, but knowing nothing at all. Intelligent but naive. Ambitious but cautious. A complex time in youth where direction is critical. A daunting thought weighs heavy on me. It keeps me up some nights. Makes me cry in the shower. Urges me to pray. If I was gone tomorrow, will I have failed as a parent? Have I instilled the right values in my son? Enough confidence? Enough love? Enough accountability? How do I feel I've done enough at those low moments, those weak moments, when I don't feel I'm enough?
I've poured into him everything I have. Everything my mother poured in to me. I want him to be full. I want that to be a part of my mother's legacy. His grandmother. Whom he never met. Whom the thought of makes my eyes well up with tears when I try to tell him about her spirit. 26 years, September 22nd. Taken so young. When I needed her most. I need her most days. I need her, today. He needs her.
I inhale and exhale. One breath at a time. One day at a time. One Mother's Day. One Christmas. One milestone. One I love you to my son. Hoping she's proud. Hoping I am keeping some of the best parts of her alive. Hoping my son will receive and be that love.
In the belly of sadness, God lifts me up. He whispers votes of confidence to me. He has surrounded me with angels and love. Things I've missed in the physical form of my mother, God has given me in other forms. My husband, my family, my unconditional friends.
When I look at my son, it encourages me. Maybe I've been honoring her all along. Maybe, I am my mother’s daughter. Gentle, giving, kind. Beautiful on the inside and out. Maybe her death, helped inject character in my life. Maybe the “her within me”, let’s me give selfless love to my own child. Maybe I'm paying her love forward. Maybe she’s proud. Maybe, she is smiling down on me, and her grandson.
That makes me feel full.
Child of God. Wife. Mother. Basketball Mom. Strategist. I love organization. Cleaning gives me release. Good deeds make me happy. I like spreadsheets, party planning, thoughtful cards, and warm chocolate chip cookies. Hoping my experiences can inspire someone else. (Mentor. She forgot that one.)