I lost my mom suddenly and unexpectedly in 2000—thirty days before my wedding day. She was 60 when she died. If she were still alive, today would have been her 70th birthday.
For some reason, this year in particular feels especially tender.
I’ve noticed as I get older (I’ll be 44 in a few weeks), that aging seems to soften how we view people and places. Things that used to bother us, don’t seem so important any more. The places where we feel the sharp, jagged edges of painful memories we thought we’d never be able to release—are beginning to blur and fade. Our hearts feel more open, more ready to forgive. We have more clarity around what really matters.
I used to struggle with all the mixed feelings I have around my mom (an amazing artist, musician and medical professional who battled depression most of her life); all the unfinished business we never got to work through.
But as I move into the second half of my life, I am more at ease around all my feelings related to my mom. Both the incredible explosive light and the dark, scary shadow. And the polarity (read more) and range of emotions I feel around her, doesn’t bother me so much anymore. I’m able to just be with this spectrum of feelings.
I believe we’re all doing the best we can at any given moment. How do I know what it felt like to walk her path?
If my mom were alive today, I think—and hope—she would have moved into a place of being more forgiving and gentle with herself. And that she’d be proud of me and my passion for helping other women find this place within themselves, as well.
Happy Birthday Juliana. I love you and thank you for the many gifts you shared with me. I would not being doing the work I am doing today were it not for you.
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Photo: My mom and dad leaving the hospital right after my birth, Houston, TX, 1966.
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