Just as many in our country are honoring our Veterans today, my heart is honoring my mother. It has been exactly a month since she passed away; a month that I have had to adjust to the fact that she is no longer just a phone call away. As I sit here feeling the soft movement of Rafael moving around in my belly and listening to the quiet wake-up noises coming from Michaela's room, I can't help but feel so tremendously greatful for the life that I live. The life that I wouldn't have if it weren't for my mother's love and sacrifices. Growing up, we knew that we were poor, but we never had to suffer the consequences. My mother always did everything she could to put food on the table, make the holidays cheerful, or celebrate our birthdays in a special way. Although she didn't always make the best decisions, I learned from her how strong a mothers love could be.
There were many times in my life when I was at odds with her and just didn't want to talk to her. Now that she is gone, I would give anything to take those times back and to forgive so that I could enjoy the time I had with her. It sounds cliche, but my mother's early death has been such an amazing lesson in living each day as if it were my last.
Recently this has helped with my anxiety over Rafael's birth. I had been so anxious and impatient to go into labor that I was missing out on enjoying my last bit of one-on-one time with Michaela. Now I am trying to enjoy every tiny little kiss and snuggle. I am trying not to be annoyed when she stops me in the middle of my cleaning and asks in her sweet little voice "Book mama?" I know that these moments are so very precious and that before I know it she will be running around terrorizing her baby brother, and too soon after that going to school and then leaving my nest forever. So for now, I'll put my dishrag down, sit on the floor with Michaela and read "There's a Monster at the End of this Book" for the millionth time. And I'll enjoy every minute of it!