Today was not what I had thought it would be. I anticipated feeling low, hollow, and having the unpleasant reminders of what it felt like to see my mom take her last breath. And maybe it would have played out like this had I not absentmindedly scheduled our anatomy ultra-sound for this morning. Maybe it was subconscious, maybe it was a heavenly intervention. Either way, it has changed the way this day has been lived and soon to be remembered.
It has been a whirlwind of a day witnessing the little miracle growing inside me. And on the other hand, I have been brought to tears at various moments knowing that the first person I want to call isn’t around. We decided to take it slow this morning, savoring the moments of the baby on the screen, having the tech fold up the special news for our eyes to see later, and enjoying a breakfast fit for three. We laughed and cried and kept the guessing game going for a short while. We strolled the lakefront on this unusual but welcomed beautiful warm day and I felt my moms presence… her embrace was overwhelming as the trees rustled in the wind… she told us we would feel her and see her in those moments, and I most certainly did. We found a bench to rest our legs and opened the envelope to read “It’s a Girl”. We wept and hugged and wept some more. And in some strange way, I felt like I got a piece of her back. It is hard to find the words to honor my mom. With so much to say, I find myself speechless. And so, in this most vulnerable state, I am sharing on her one-year passing the eulogy I wrote and read for her. It was by the far the hardest thing I have ever written and I am proud to share this with you. Today has been hard, but I have been reminded of how it is so beautiful… in death… in life… and in all moments in between. Scroll down to read on…
By trade, our mother was a teacher, but her teachings stretched far beyond the classroom. It was her nature, her true calling in life to aid in the transformation of minds and hearts. In everything she did, there was a lesson to be learned. From her
What good did you do today? How did you pay it forward?
Did you make someone smile?
Did you live by example?
She spoke truth and lived out her truth. Our mom gave a piece of herself to everyone she met – her students, friends, family…even strangers couldn’t walk by without her sharing a wide-toothed smile…what a special, special gift that is, to be so unaware of the beauty that you share with so many.
The pieces of herself that she left behind, even the most minute, I hope they have left a profound impression… I hope you feel her shake you when you have the opportunity to share kindness, to spread happiness, to do more good in this world. Because if our mom taught us anything, she taught us that life is too short not to act. Act justly. Act humbly. Act silly. Act faithfully.
In the beginning, our mom lost her ability to drive. Then she lost her ability to walk. Then, quite slowly, she lost her ability to move on her right side. Eventually, she lost her ability to form comprehensive speech.
Cancer then, stole her mind, consciousness, and ultimately her life.
Do you know, that not once, not once over the course of this 20-year journey did we ever hear her say why me? Not once did we ever hear her complain or wallow in the cards she was
Loss both takes and gives. It has taken the best person we’ve ever known. Our best friend in life. The person whose smile and laugh made everything right in this world and whose embrace silenced all anxieties and fears. Whose encouragement and cheers made us feel like we could move mountains. The woman who championed every dream no matter how big or small.
What I’m left with, what we are left with, is her life lesson (from her biggest lesson plan to date). Her teachings, better yet, her legacy of infinite love and enduring faith. And if we can live this life loving as much she did – people, places, experiences, moments- if we can love every minute, savor every second of this crazy life we have with as much frenzy, force, and enthusiasm… and strive to sustain as deep and powerful of a faith that she had, I would have to humbly say, that we would all get an A in her book.