I recently was sent a daily reflection email and it had the most beautiful caption. ‘After her death, I began to see her as she had really been. It was less like losing someone than discovering someone.’
I find that to be a very true statement for me these days. I remember when my mom passed away, I was talking to a co-worker about my loss. I expressed to him how upset I was with her and her inability to be a good mother to me. How she left me with only $4.50 and my 17yr old brother who was sent to live with his father. She left me with so many heartaches and devastating memories, it was hard for me to mourn her when I was so focused on being upset. It was in that moment, my co-worker turned to me and said-‘ Have you ever wondered, if maybe she did the best she could? I’m sure if she had the tools and was shown how to love you and herself, I’m sure she would have done just that. Try not to focus on what she wasn’t and focus on what she was. Sometimes, those we are frustrated with are truly doing the best they can. Now it’s time for you to honor your mother and do better for you and your children.’
It was in that moment, I realized I did not see my mother for who she really was but rather what I needed her to be. My mother has been gone for 16 years and I no longer harbor those feelings towards her. I know she loved me and I know if her life was different, I’m certain mine would have been too. I had to stop judging her for something she didnt know she could fix. When we can allow ourselves to look at our loves ones for who they are vs who we want them to be, it can free up so many barriers we put in place. It removes the false expectations, barriers and truly allows us to see life from their prospective. When we can do that, I believe we are truly loving your neighbor just as God loves you. Just as they are and not who you think they ought to be.
I love you. You still continue to make me laugh and I long for the days when I can see you again. Your name means ‘Defender and Protector’ You my dear, are just that. You have always been our defender and now God has promoted you to be my protector. You will always be my baby, first born, oldest daughter and now I will spend the rest of my life learning all the ways you wanted to live life, the memories you have left behind, sharing your legacy and seeing you as you really are vs what I see. You have enlightgened me in ways only a daughter can. You have brought me closer to God and continue to make me a better mother and person. I am so proud of you and I promise to continue to make you proud.