In the 20 years exactly, as of today, since my Mom died I have yet to publicly share the picture below. It hangs on my refrigerator, and I look at it often. I really love this picture, even though we look like crap. It was taken 2 weeks before my Mom died, in 1999. We stopped to take this photo, and in this moment, I distinctly remember knowing this would be the last time we would be in a photo together. OK hang on, I know that seems sad, and yes, it was, but delay the temptation to cling to that sentiment for just a moment.
As you’ll see by the adorable baby in the picture, it was a hectic time! This was caregiving on steroids. I had two small kids at the time, one was still breastfeeding, and I was a caregiver for my Mom. And yet, I felt so lucky to be aware, and present, in this moment. Aware that there was beauty, and chaos, and yes deep sadness, but also humor in not only these final moments with my mom but in the following years raising my kids.
Being present and as self-aware as possible is what gives you the strength to ask for help when you need it, to make clear decisions about what you want your life to look like and to set goals and boundaries, and also to make some nice messy choices, and then reroute entirely. Being present and self-aware is what gives you the gift of being grateful for the loves in your life, it’s what helps nurture friendships, family, and what empowers you to call yourself out on your own bull when it creeps in! And it’s one of the most impactful gifts we can give our kids, our honest, sometimes messy presence.
If you would like resources for pregnancy, parenting, or cancer support, please reach out! I’d be happy to offer support or refer you accordingly.
Here’s to another 20+ years of being present.