I’m going to try and keep this story short and sweet. I’ve got to get some rest before a busy day at work tomorrow and then I have an early day of travel on Saturday to make my way to Connecticut for the holidays. For everyone who wished me luck with my Doctors appointment today, thank you. The GI thinks I have an intolerance to some type of food or a digestion issue, thankfully nothing more serious. I had to get some more blood work done and when I get back from CT I have a colonoscopy scheduled to check for (and hopefully rule out) things like Crohns and Colitis. Here’s to a happy, healthy gut in 2013!
This Christmas story has nothing to do with digestion or Doctors, it has to do with my mom and Christmas and the precious gift of life.
You guys can probably recognize my dad by now, he’s been featured on my blog a lot. It’s crazy how much he still looks the same after all these years! (Although he now has a little less hair and is a lot leaner.) The woman on the right is my mom, Jeri, she was 24 years old. I don’t think I’ve ever shared a photo of her on here before. The beaming girl in her arms is my sister at 2, and the little glo-worm looking baby on my dad’s lap is me. This picture was taken on Christmas Eve. I was three months old. It was our last picture as a family, and the only one I have of all four of us. My mom died a few hours later on Christmas morning from a brain aneurysm. She woke up with a headache, went to take a nap after breakfast to try and sleep it off, and was found unconscious a few hours later. By the time she got to the hospital she had passed away.
I really wish I had gotten to know my mom. Everyone said she had a huge heart, and an even bigger personality. She was spontaneous and fun-loving and full of life. Growing up when I was told how adventurous she was, and how she could be a little bit of a rebel I always laughed trying to imagine this woman, and wishing I could be more like her. My sister got my mom’s rock and roll genes. I got my dad’s love of country music, anxious personality, and cautious demeanor. I have been told I have her stubbornness though. And her eyes.
I am so thankful to my Dad. He had to take on a lot and he raised my sister and I so well. He took on the role of dad and mom and made it so that I never felt a hole missing in my life. I also had my grandma and Aunts who always were there for me when I needed a female figure. Now I am blessed with an amazing step-mom and an incredible future mother-in-law in my life who are sources of guidance and inspiration for me.
I never felt anything but joy at Christmas. My family of three was all I ever knew, I never felt like I could miss or be bitter about something I never had. Every year I look forward to family and friends getting together and celebrating the season with Christmas songs and food and presents. But every Christmas I also make sure to take time to reflect on the woman who gave me life, who was the first person to ever love me, and who I know I would be so close with if she were here today. I may have never gotten to know her, and I may not have a lot in common with her, but she is someone I aspire to be like in so many ways. She grew up with epilepsy and never let it hold her back from having a normal life. She was determined to do everything a mom does for her kids, if my dad couldn’t get off work and we had doctors appointments she would take the bus so we wouldn’t miss them. She made the best of every situation and she lived her life to the fullest.
I’d love to have more of her fearlessness, her courage, and her bravery. I’d love to have her advice as I’m getting ready to be married. Her and my dad were so happy together. I’d love to have her someday get to hold her grandkids. She loved her family more than anything. I would have loved to get to see her live longer than 24 short years on this Earth. It’s really not long enough. While I can’t change those things, I can love every day I’m given and make it count for her. And that’s just what I plan to do.
Merry Christmas Mom, I love you. <3