When I was two years old she put me on skis. She made sure I learned how to swim. She encouraged me to write, to draw, to even make those ’80s friendship bracelets. She cheered with me as I got better and faster on my bike.
She made sure I did all the things I do well now.
She died 11 years ago – Mother’s Day. The week after she died I remember driving to school, wondering. Wondering how my life would change with her gone. I won’t lie- we had a really complicated relationship. Her death, nonetheless, knocked the wind out of me.
In the last 11 years I have worked to become a less judgemental person than she. I have worked to eat healthfully. I have worked to treat myself with compassion.
The truth is- she did none of this.
Her struggles have become my strengths. I have worked at the same school for the last eleven years. In the same time span she and I had moved to at least five different towns. I have stayed in the same career for my whole adult life. I am married to the love of my life and we will celebrate our 18th anniversary in June. She worked her way through three marriages and countless boyfriends.
I have worked very hard to move into a place of loving what I have. It is this love that shows up in my day to day life. It shows up in the laughter with my students. It shows up when I cuddle with my daughter after a long day. It presents its smile while on my mat at yoga. It nourishes me with the foods I choose to eat. And it snuggles in at night as my husband and I share our day.
Love is present everywhere in my life. Losing my mom allowed me the space to work on this love.
For that, I am grateful.