When my mom died, for a time, all hope was lost. I had just turned 22, and my vision of my future without her was blurry at best, bleak at worst. I remember saying, “what good will it be to get married if the day is not perfect? And without her it won’t be perfect.” What kind of future and family and life could I hope for without her in it? It all seemed less than what I’d dreamed for myself, and I was lost.
And yet the sun still shines. And growth continues, even when you’d rather everything stopped. Even when you don’t want to live without her, life persists. And sixteen years later, I’m so glad for that. I’m glad that there is something beyond grief, beyond despair. In dark and desperate moments, that certainty remains.
I often think about what my mother would make of the life I’ve created. I think if she were here, she would remark on how many things I’ve done and accomplished that she didn’t. I volunteered abroad, earned two Masters degrees, had a fabulous wedding in Italy, started my own business. I think she’d be really proud. But the beautiful irony is that the thing I’m most proud of is the one thing that she did do – raise 3 precious children. And I’m doing that hard work every day, leaning heavily on the lessons she taught me and the example she set.
Here I am persisting, Mom. Even when I miss you. Even when I feel lost. Knowing that the light you left me with is enough to cut through the darkness.