Fall is here and the holidays are near. It’s a time when families cuddle a little closer, carve pumpkins, sip apple cider and watch the leaves change.
For some, the seasons can be bitter-sweet. It’s hard to celebrate when you’ve lost someone. As time goes on, it gets easier. But there’s never a moment you don’t think, “I wish they could be here right now”. Losing my mother has taught me to appreciate the small things, cherish the moments and to never take anyone for granted. These blessings in our lives can cease to exist in the blink of an eye. My mother found positivity in the worst of situations, so like her, I won’t make this a sob story. It’s more of a toast to heaven for keeping my angels safe.
She had this way about her, you couldn’t help but love her. She had an infectious spirit and could make you laugh until you cried. She never met a stranger and if she did, they most likely walked away with something she gave them. She was always giving. I remember a time around the holidays on a freezing, wet day, she found a homeless woman who didn’t own a coat. So she gave her hers. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for you. If you were happy, she was happy, if you were sad, she was sad. She celebrated your victories and mourned your losses. And she knew when you needed cookies or a spontaneous adventure! She was magic in so many ways. They say the greatest thing we can teach our children is to lead by example. She was a beautiful example of what love really is.
I cherish these memories close to my heart. And I also cherish them on my skin. My mother was always writing. She loved to write. And she would always write us letters. We had a family tradition that adding 3 of something, meant, “I love You”. Like putting 3 ice cubes in your glass, or giving you 3 pieces of fudge or even flashing three fingers from afar. My mom would sign her letters and adorn the envelopes with 3 hearts. She did this also on the last letter and envelope she gave me before she died. I have one tattoo. And that is what it is. A replica of those 3 hearts. I look at it and remember her. I remember that letter. I tell my boys she magically knew I would end up with the 3 of them and it’s a way to remind them of the angel who watches over them.
We think we know people. But we don’t know their story. Everyone has a story. Here was a window into mine. Next time you see someone who is inked, try asking what their tattoos mean. They might surprise you. And they might have a beautiful story that completely transforms your day. As we embark on a new season, we need to remember that life is too short to spend our days in negativity. Hug your loved ones. Make a stranger smile. Swap stories with “the old folk”. Let go of the things you can’t control. And remember your blessings, there are so many.
For my mother- who loved the unlovely, helped the helpless and judged no one.