Another year has passed

I feel like it was just yesterday that I raced you into Target from the car and laughed in your face because I was finally fast enough to beat you. You had a leg up on me until about age 13. Then, I could no longer blame a hole in the lawn, our lightening fast dog, Mika, or my rapidly growing feet for tripping me during the last steps of our races. Although, I would go back in a second to any of those tragic races where you would scoop me from the ground with scraped knees and tears in my eyes.

From the day you joined mom in heaven, I have learned to mend my own scrapes and bruises, and learned to dry my own tears, or laugh through them. But, sometimes I still think that having protector there would make life simpler. Bailey has stepped up and become one of the greatest young men, which is terribly hard for me to admit. He is my best friend still, and you would be proud to know we have outgrown our phase of bickering about what show to watch, fighting for the front seat, and wrestling over the last pair of clean soccer socks.

But, I think that without you, we have also learned to be distant from those we love, we have learned to bury feelings deeper, and learned to hold on to each other a little tighter. We have created our own language, one where we can pick up the phone and talk about anything in the world for hours on end and not mention what we are feeling, but the other knows. It is incredible because we always were told that we would grow up to be best friends, little did we know that there was no way around that.

I know that you are always looking over us, and shining your light as a guide to show us what is meant to be. Losing you was the most devastating part of my childhood, and without you, I learned to look to the Lord for solace. The Bible says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). And in my time of loss, I was comforted not only by God but by our family and friends as well. I am beyond blessed to have them, but I would give up anything to have you back, for a day, or month, or a year longer.

2,920 days…

At some point, I will have spent more days on earth without my mom than with her here, present in my life. As of today, I have spent eight years without her here to celebrate important parts of my life, as well as to see me through the darkest days. The last eight years have flown by at a surprising rate of speed. Bailey and I have celebrated three graduations, eight birthdays, Christmases, and New Years without her.

This year she would have been 50 years old, but the 19th of January passed as just another day on my calendar. At this point, my daily life seems normal without her, which is a hard pill for me to swallow sometimes. It makes me realize how little she would know me now, but it also makes me realize how much I have grown as a person. Every day I am thankful for the 14 years that I spent with her because her fight taught me how to be a strong woman who stands up for herself, her friends, and her family. It is one of the biggest lessons I take from my mom. She was a warrior who was clothed in strength and always knew that she gave me strength to carry on. Her ten-year fight for life was the most influential part of my childhood. She managed to be a mom, a nurse, a sister, wife, and friend during her best and worse days. I am never outwardly religious, but there is a bible verse that says “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

This verse is so significant because not only is the Lord with me in my times of doubt and need, but I feel as if my mom is too. Therefore, when the days are long, stressful, tiring, and give me a run for my money I know that there is something there to guide me.

Overall, the last 2,920 days have gone on without her, just as the days will continue to do. I am hopeful that she is smiling down on my brother, and me. I am still convinced she is my guiding light and will put me where I need to be when the opportunity is right. So, although these days have been exhausting, I have continued to live on and spread her spirit. She is my reason to live, fight, and wear pink.

P.S. let my mom be the reason all you women get a yearly exam!

Remember, Remember the 8th of November….

My birthday is tomorrow, but fortunately and unfortunately my birthday is overshadowed by a more important event: the 2016 Presidential Election. I like to think that my life has come full circle: I was born on election day 22 years ago. My parents made a point to let me know that before I was born at 10:33 AM on November 8, 1994, my incredibly stubborn mom, who was already in labor, waddled into our local polling place to fulfill her civic duty. Even though it was an “off-year,” it still counts.remember-remember-blog-post

I like to think that this plays a significant role in why I am so passionate about politics, and making sure that my vote is heard. I also think that it may influence my future career path (we will have to see).

I have to say, as a young, college-educated, well-spoken, female that people assume who I am voting for. However, they are typically wrong, but all in all, as long as I am fulfilling the duty that Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott fought for I should be able to go about my daily life without being ridiculed based on my political beliefs.

So, educate yourselves. Go vote and let your voice be heard.

–Alex