My nephew Kam turned 1 on 10/12. And in less than a month later, my twins, will turn 2 years old. It’s so hard to imagine that life goes on after you lose a loved one, but birthdays are a reminder that life does indeed go on. We lost my mother to cancer in May. She was only 58. Along with being an amazing mother, and I do mean AMAZING, she taught me many lessons. One lesson I learned early was that no matter what’s going on in your life, how you are feeling, you just get up. You get up, you put one foot in front of the other, and you keep going. This lesson never rang more true than when I became a parent myself. No matter if you just just fell asleep 15 minutes ago after being up all night with a sick baby, now the other one is waking up to be fed, you just get up, you do what needs to be done. It reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite authors, Oriah Mountain Dreamer; “It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.” This was my mother. Everything she did she did for her children. I strive to be a mother like that.
She embodied that just get up and keeping going attitude when she was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. She kept her job teaching, sitting on boards, mentoring children, writing books, etc. at the same time undergoing two surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy. Trust me my laziness smacks me in the face when I think of this! 🙂 She only quit teaching when we nearly forced her to and she moved in with me. Less than five months later she was gone. Her biggest heartache was that her Grandchildren would not know her. That they would only know her through pictures and stories. She loved nothing more than her grandchildren. Nothing. I hope that I am able to let them know who she was, what an inspiration she was and still is. I hope that I am able to teach them to read and sew and live big lives. For her.
I know that my mother will be at every birthday party, she will be there for every bed time story, she will be there on every road trip we take with her grandchildren. I will make sure that she is.
Here are a few pictures that I took of my most beautiful, blue-eyed, serious nephew Kam on his first birthday. He is an absolute joy! And as my mother always said, I love you more…