Friday morning I listened to a voicemail from my dad asking me to call him back immediately.
Fast forward several calls, a talk to the police, a call to my brother vacationing in England and several dizzy spells brought on by sobbing.
My mom had passed away… Very unexpectedly.
My mom was effervescent, full of laughter and life, kind beyond words, welcoming to every single person she encountered and … my best friend.
She was my safe place, my role model, the one who got me before I even understood what I was feeling; she challenged me and celebrated all moments (victories and defeats). She was the glue of our family, who kept the peace and made everyone feel valued and special.
She was my mom, and now more importantly, she was Baylor and Nola’s Gram. Or as she liked to sign letters: “Grim” because when B and N say Gram it sounds a little more like a soft i sound. She came to my rescue when I was panicking about a sick child and would happily giggle while playing on the floor and up and down slides with the twins. She was silly and loving and thought that they we’re smart beyond their years. She mailed them fun notes and the ones that were 3 feet by 2 feet had outlines of her hands and feet. (Those will never be thrown out.)
She was the person who gave me confidence in my own ability to be a mom.
She also gave me strength to get healthier and gently stuck with me through the worst of my sickness and ever so steadily helped push me forward. She was my strength.
I feel as though my daughters have been cheated. I know I am biased, but my mom was so creative, so encouraging, so loving and exciting. She filled a room with light and fun. They deserved more time with her. SHE deserved more time with THEM.
The thought that keeps bringing me to my knees is the fear that Baylor and Nola won’t remember her. Throughout my recovery journey the strongest motivating element has been Baylor and Nola having a strong, healthy mom and role model. The desire to be at my best has grown tenfold because now, I will work everyday to emulate, channel, and bring her spirit to life.
I know she would tell me, this isn’t goodbye, it’s just see you later. At her funeral I said it is now our job to live with our hearts full, laugh as loudly as possible, and keep our spirit full of life because that’s how she lived everyday.
I know right now my heart is broken and my strength has been stolen but I will work everyday to honor her heart, laughter and spirit. These are her legacy, we are her legacy. I’ll make sure it’s honored and remembered.
Please work hard to keep your TRUE Strength.