On February 25, 2019, I woke up to find out that my mother died overnight. My mom was 57. The day prior, we were picking out carpet samples to redecorate the family room.
The cause? A heart attack.
It’s been a year since she had passed away, and now that the numbness has worn off, it’s starting to get real. I am no longer protected by shock – I am starting to truly begin to realize that she is gone. I can still hear her car radio in the driveway when she came home from work. I can still picture her wearing her Southern Mom sweatshirt while cleaning with her iPod shuffle blasting loud disco music. Writing it now, I realize that those memories are further away then ever before. However, they are all I have left.
The thing about losing a parent in your 20s is that everyone tells you how to feel. Others will say things to simply say something – even though it is not helpful. And, many of your peers will not understand what it is like to lose a parent simply because they haven’t.
That said, losing my mom taught me something – that life is truly short. We really don’t know how long we are here for. It’s too short to worry about the small stuff – even though it’s easier said than done. And, because of that, it’s important to enjoy and live life to the fullest capacity. That is why it’s important to me to try to do things that make me happy.
I believe that happiness is composed of the little things. For me, it’s listening to music while I am taking a bath, or morning walks with Lucy. I do some sort of workout every morning, as it is a form of self care. I try to make more time to read, and do things for me. By cramming my day with a ton of things that makes me happy is most important, as it helps me feel as though I am taking care of myself and balancing better.
With that being said, losing my mom the way that I did reminded me to cherish every moment that you get to have with your loved ones – simply because you don’t know how long you will have with them. Many of us often associate that mindset with the elderly. However, we need to apply that mindset to everyone in our lives. So, that means being grateful for loved ones who call when they are concerned about something. Or, spending time with family even though sometimes it feels like it’s an item of the to-do list.
Learning that lesson was the hardest one that I ever had to learn. I keep on thinking about my mom and all of the things that I took for-granted. I think about how much I miss all of the little things with her. In fact, I just miss her in general.
Nowadays, I try to do more to make me happy in life
That said, I ask you all to hug your loved ones and cherish them. That time that you spend with them is truly the best gift you can give yourself.