When I was young, each day was so incredibly filled with possibility.
Each moment burst with fresh emotion so bright and furious that it burned out all feelings prior to it.
I lived within constant reinvention, full of dress up clothes and story books, flying towards my every whim.
The only pain I knew was fleeting, patched up with gentle words and band aids.
The only permanence I knew was love.
My mother was the gatekeeper of my childhood.
All I touched was light and love, placed under my finger tips for me to find.
All I saw was exciting and new, carefully crafted for me to explore.
And whenever I inevitably stumbled across pain, harsh and raw and wrong, my mother talked me back down into a safer reality.
I was innocently oblivious to what a rarity devotion such as this is.
But as it was all I knew, it didn’t stand out to me.
I treasured it, yes, with all my heart.
But if you had asked me, I’d have called it unremarkable.
It is only now with age that I sometimes pause over my memories of childhood.
I roll them around in my mind, searching for clues as to what was happening behind the scenes.
How did I wake up every single day, with magic in the air so real I could smell it?
Because I know now what cancer can do to a woman. To a mother.
My mother’s gift to me was normalcy.
She wrapped it up with a smile and told me: be you.
She lifted me gracefully, high above unseen enemies, and I told her I was floating.
At that moment, she put into my life everything hers was lacking: familiarity, tenderness, and ease.
While she was being drained empty, she filled my cup with possibility.
When I fear for my future, I look at her and she reminds me that no darkness can take the light away.
That even in the worst times, love and laughter are yours to find, create, and give.
I hope that someday I can be a mother like mine: steady, selfless, unfailing.
I hope, when I have children, that their lives are so permeated with love that they expect nothing else.
I want them to wake up every day with that knowledge that they are loved by me and their grandma planted firmly in their hearts.
I don’t want them to blink an eye.
I want them to find it unremarkable.