It's hard to believe but as of last week, it's been 10 years since my mom passed away. Ten years. In 2003, I was 17 and in my junior year of high school. So much has happened since then.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel on that day, knowing it would be the ten year mark of such a major event in my life. I wasn't really sure how to even talk about it. But then I was blessed by my husband- who always completes my thoughts and speaks my heart back to me when I'm at a loss. Gus didn't bring it up to me during the day. Instead, he was a few minutes late getting home and presented me with this beautiful bouquet of lillies.
Flowers. They can be a sad gift - but this was the perfect one. What it said to me in such a simple gesture was that life is going on - it's blooming in a sense - and that my mom is still here with me. She's in the goodness of life that brought Gus to me in the first place. She's in the crazy things I've survived and an in all the things I've accomplished in the past decade.
I never would have thought that now I'd be designing wedding invitations and doing calligraphy - following so unexpectedly in her footsteps. And I am so grateful to still feel so connected to her in what I'm doing and what I dream of for the next chapter.
I keep looking at the lillies that have bloomed for days on end now and they are the most apt reminder that life is a celebration of love and those that leave us are still with us. My mom is with me when I am most "myself" and when I embrace those gifts that she gave me. She is with me as I build a family of my own, and she is with me as I look in my heart for the right direction to go.
So, though I miss her, I realize this anniversary does not need to be a sad milestone. It's a moment to think of the gift I was given by having a wonderful mother and getting to spend 17 years with her. And it's the reminder to stay true to the daughter she was guiding me to be and to hold close to all those things that make life so precious - like an incredibly thoughtful husband...