Although the beginning of December brings fun traditions like shopping for a tree and decorating for the holidays, it’s incredibly difficult at the same time.
Today marks the 14th anniversary of my mom’s death. She passed away when I was a senior in college, and I received the news on the dance floor of a fraternity formal. Looking back, it still feels like a scene out of a horror movie. Everything seemed perfect – wearing a beautiful gown, dancing with my friends, etc. – and then, WHAM.
Back then (and without dating myself too much), we didn’t take our cell phones with us everywhere. Seems crazy now, right? I had left mine at my college apartment which was located about an hour away from the formal. Thankfully, my dad got ahold of a friend who drove to find me and share the news. I remember the moment like it was yesterday… I immediately lost control of my body and dropped to the floor – shaking uncontrollably with tears streaming down my face. I kept crying until my ducts couldn’t produce any more tears.
So what happened?
My mom and dad were at a friend’s 50th birthday party. They were standing for the champagne toast when she suddenly slumped on my Dad’s shoulder. She’d had a catastrophic stroke and would never wake again. She was braindead a few days later… on my brother’s 24th birthday.
It was the day when all the color disappeared from our worlds. There are still corners of my mind that have not been filled-in since.
Losing a parent is cruel and punishing. No one and nothing prepares you for it – especially the loss of a mother’s unconditional love, spirit, and energy. As an impressionable young woman, there was still so much I needed her to teach me. To tell me. My heart especially aches for my brother. No one should be reminded of a parent’s death on their birthday. Every. Single. Year.
Weeks after her death, my brother and I found journals she had written for us, dating back to our high school years. We have two journals each, and they are lifelines to her heart. It’s nearly impossible for me to get through a single entry without losing it. One look at her handwriting, and I’m transported back to that dance floor watching life’s narrative be transcribed for me and my family.
There are countless moments, even this week, where I wish she was alive to talk through things. Give advice, tell me to sleep more, work less, and be my toughest (but best) critic. I wonder: “Would she be proud of me?”
“Would she challenge me to better than the woman I am today?” The list goes on and on.
I’ll never know, but I have a choice – either be that young girl stranded on the dance floor or to get up and dance through life.
I choose to dance.
Here are the links that made me happy this week:
- How darling is Kit’s round-up of holiday wreaths on homes throughout Boston?
- This twist-back sweater looks so comfy.
- Grace proves that there’s nothing better than having close friends over for comfort food.
- I have a weakness for a good metallic pleated skirt, and this one is no exception.
- I absolutely love how Marianne styled her cozy sweater dress.
- The nude pumps I have been wearing almost non-stop are on sale for under $70!
- Pretty sure I could stare at Mackenzie’s incredible pics from Giraffe Manor all day.
- The perfect high waist grey skinny jeans.
- Dana always finds the best velvet pieces – love!
- This fit and flare Carolina Herrera dress is an absolute dream.
- I’m obsessed with this bold print on Hayet.
- This circle tote had be at “yellow!”
- So inspired to book a trip to Savannah after seeing Krystin’s amazing post.
- Pretty sure I need this long pink cardigan in my life (and the other four colors, too).
- Kat found the coziest pink knit sweater. Obsessed!
- I finally caved and bought these leggings everyone has been raving about. They definitely live up to the hype (and they’re on sale)
- Drooling over my friend Megan’s new jewelry.
- This preppy stripe turtleneck is so cute.
- No one does a monochromatic grey look better than Amy.
- These might be the chicest pair of pants I’ve ever seen.
- Get ready to pick your jaw up off the floor after seeing Allie’s post from Vienna.
- The perfect weekend sweatshirt.
- Head over heels for Ashley’s bold green + stripe look.
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