"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
It's been a while since I last wrote here. Life happened. Life changed drastically. Life didn't and doesn't make sense anymore. My mom died. That's the first time I have typed those words out. My mom passed away. My mom was called home. My mom is no longer with me in physical form. I cannot believe it. I am in shock. I feel nothing. I am numb. I am emotionless. It's not apathy, and I have never felt like this in my entire life. It's not a detachment of mind and body, but rather I feel fully present in myself, just suppressed. It's almost tranquil, kind of comforting while being unsettling. I feel empty. I don't feel lost. I feel incomplete. I feel bamboozled. I feel betrayed. I feel like the brightest part of me has been pilfered, and yet still I am still left with light and love. Why am I still full of light and love?
None of it makes sense, and yet I know what I must do. It comes and goes like the ebb and flow of waves on moonlit shore. I have cried until I could no longer. I have cried until I needed to vomit. I have cried, and cried, and then cried some more. Each time, all it takes is a deep breath, and I am back to myself - composed, in control, and bright. It doesn't compute. I'm not sure it ever will. I am taking life blink by blink, breath by breath, and moment by moment. I want to cry but don't need to. I am feeling what I am feeling while wondering if I'm feeling how and the way I'm supposed to do all that feeling. I don't know what to do without my mom, and I know exactly what to do because she is part of me, and I am her. I am lost but also found. I am gone but simultaneously here. I am terrified but also braver than I have ever had to be. Here's to the rest of my Earthly days trying to exist without her.
Lessons from my mom. Unconditional love - I write about and use this phrase often but it is all in thanks to my mom. She was the best exemplification of unconditional love. She loved in ways that made people love themselves. She loved like her life depended on it. She loved like it was the most important thing she could do. It was. Unconditional love is not love without accountability but rather love that transcends all because it's a continual choice to love, hold near, and be bold with the people we love. When we love others unconditionally we are loving them beyond reason, not in the sense of unreasonableness but further than the limits of reason. It's love that goes infinitely. It is love that endures. It is love that awes. To love unconditionally is to love, and love, and love in perpetuity. Unconditional love has conditions. It is contingent upon an active choice to demonstrate love - in all its forms, not just the love that defies logic. Are we choosing to love others? Is our love conditional, transactional, utilitarian? Is our love with the fullness of hearts, our souls, and our spirits? Is our love completely us, and does our love complete our wholeness? My mom's unconditional love will sustain for the duration of my lifetime, and another moment longer.
Selflessness - so much of life is choosing yourself and how you spend your time. Choosing to spend time on others, to give your energy and effort to people, and to do your best ensure people feel loved, cared for, and valued is not an easy endeavor, but it is one that can be wholeheartedly rewarding. Giving yourself to others is the greatest thing we can do besides love them. In a world that is constantly vying for our attention to grant people your undivided attention, intentionally means a great deal. My mom choose people continually. She choose to spend time with them. She choose to help others. She would not rest until she was assured that others were well. Do you know what it's like to share your mom with the rest of the world? To the point where other people near, and far, call your mom ... mom? I used to absolute hated it as a kid. Why did my mom seem to prioritize people that weren't me or my siblings?
What I learned was that she was not only doing her best, that she had already given her entire self to/for me - what more could I ask of her? Now the way she is remembered as a mother to all is my greatest pride. Anything and everything people needed my mom would ensure they received it. Even if it meant sacrificing what she wanted, if it was to benefit someone else, there she would go. She had this unbelievable ability to push past the limits of ordinary people, and continue on. When others would give up, call it quits, or say they were done, she would go, and go, and go until things were complete. It because of here that I know my capacity to care, to demonstrate empathy, and to give love is unparalleled. The extraordinary ways I strive to be for/with others come from her, and knowing I am limitless in selfless love.
My mom was funny. Her sense of humor was unmatched. She is someone that could brighten a room, lift spirits with ease, and elicit laughter unlike anyone else. Just the sound of hope, joy, and peace in her voice provided warmth, and comfort. She could talk to anyone, and by talk I mean dialogue, commune, and imbue. She poured into you. She filled you up. She moved you forward. How could someone be so adept at forming transformative relationships out of mere looks, laughs, and lollygagging? Anywhere, and anyone, she touched your soul, and left you changed for the better. Pure of heart, loving in body, and warm in presence - the ability to make people feel, and to not just feel for feelings' sake, but to feel with purpose is unique to my mom.
There is something profound about using our connectivity to other people for their own advancement. How are we moving others on? How are we elevating those we are in relationship with? How are we celebrating the people in our lives, regularly, continually, and without prompting? My mom was quick to strike up a conversation, and invested time, energy, and effort into it. When she spoke to you, she conversed with you. She saw people, their needs, and most hopefully who they could be. Are we readily sharing our hopes, wishes, and loving encouragements for who we know people are, and who they can be? Are we doing what we are able to help people become who we know them to be? Are we availing ourselves to others to advance the cause that is them?
My mom was remarkably brave. I didn't know her to be afraid of anything or anyone. I have always wished I was as fearless as her. Her bravery strikes me as remarkable because it informed how she approached the world. It was not hesitation, nor trepidation - it was wonder, and confidence. She may not have known what was ahead of her at all times, but she powered forward with a steadfast in who she was. No matter what came her way she was, as herself, were immovable. What a powerful place to be - to be decisive about who you are, how you understand the world, and the way that you approach all of what life sends your way. I know through my mom that being unapologetically yourself is the bravest thing I can do.
I know that being authentic is when I am at my most powerful. I know that speaking with precision and decision about my truths, my thoughts, and my experiences is when I am most me. Approaching this life with inquisitiveness makes a remarkable difference. Instead of fear, it's fortitude. It's audacity to awe. It's pragmatic optimism in direct contrast to melancholy wallow. The world can be bright if only I choose for it to be that way. Life can be grand if I understand it to be. Everything is an opportunity to be kind, to be loving, and to be a light for myself, and to others. I have never been more sure that my mom is now one with the light. I hope to be light to any and all who get to experience me, in honor, in celebration, and in emulation of her. Bravely bright for all of my days. Mom, I love you, and your light. X