When you describe me, my children, I want you to say, “my mom was strong and a good human. She had her struggles and wasn’t perfect, but she taught us how to rise no matter what.
Yes, we saw her tears, and she cried big wet ones.
But when hurt came, she'd let it sit with us at the table for a little. We'd all see it on her wrinkled forehead and furrowed brow. She didn’t keep it hidden from us. But it wouldn't stay long, just long enough so she could process it and get through it. So, she could feel the emotions and gain a new perspective.
And then she’d open the front door and invite it to leave. We’d all say goodbye, and she was able to look toward her future in a healthy way.
We learned that from her.
Because she taught us not to be trapped in our pain.
She told us not to push those feelings down inside and ignore them. She said she used to do that, but that lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms. That’s why we need to feel our feelings because numbing out isn’t a way to live and experience life.
And that’s why we’d hear her belt out a song in the car to sing through the noise of a bad day or go for a walk outside and breathe through her sadness.
And she taught us that if someone reaches out to help, don't push them away. It's okay to let them join you in the pain, walk with you, so you aren't alone in it all. It’s okay to let someone hold your hand, eat chips and ice cream, and help you process everything.
The strong ones don’t go at this life alone. They’re the ones who ask for help and let people in.
We are who we are today, not because she was perfect. She never claimed to be.
We are who we are because of her strength, support, and unconditional love.”