I thought it would be fun to do a 30 Days of Thanks challenge. I have so much in my life that I am thankful for and even more that I should be thankful for. Over the next month I’m challenging myself to really think about all the things I’m thankful for.
Day 1: My mother
Today would have been my mother’s 55th birthday. She died when I was 17 after many long years fighting cancer. In her last few years, she was much different than who she’d been. Her short term memory was gone, she couldn’t walk anymore and she could only “eat” through a feeding tube.
I’m thankful for all the time I did have with her. She hand-sewed our Halloween costumes every year. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how different that was. I could tell her anything I wanted to be and she could make it.
She also made the absolute best apple pies. As a kid, I didn’t like cake so every year for my birthday she would make apple pie instead.
She was the one who took me to Girl Scouts and to riding lessons and swimming lessons. I’m a pretty decent swimmer thanks to her. Every swim lesson opened with a lap swum as fast as we could. I was a good swimmer and typically finished first. One day, the swim teacher’s son, who was about our age, joined us, and he narrowly beat me. My mother asked me why I’d let him beat me and she was right. At the last moment, I’d held back, afraid of finishing first. I didn’t let him beat me again.
Best of all, she convinced my dad to finally let me get a dog. I’d been begging for years, saved up all my money, done research, and voluntarily hand-scooped poop of our family dog to show my commitment. It was my mother who found the Golden Retriever breeder in Tucson and it was she who took me to pick out my first dog, who I named Cassidy.
It makes me pretty sad to think that in a few years I’ll have lived as long without her as I did with her, but I’m glad for the memories I do have of her.