My Path is Different

I’m living in the decade my mom didn’t survive.

I just got here yet I’ll be here for a while. I wonder if that’s what my mom thought when she entered her 40s. Surely she didn’t think, “this is the decade I am going to die.”

Yet I fear just that.

Today I see all that she left behind. All that she might have seen. If only she were here.

My path is different.

I want to watch my kids grow up. To be part of their lives and their kids’ lives. I want to love them and hug them and smile at them and yell at them and fight with them and hold them close and let them go. I want to be their mom for a long, long time.

My path is different.

I want to grow old with Josh. To hold hands, have adventures, explore new places, discover new interests.  I want to reminisce about our life. Create new memories to reflect on. To watch our children become independent. Together.

My path is different.

I feel more love and gratitude than ever before yet I crave more. I feel confident yet inadequate. I feel like I am giving so much yet it’s never enough. I feel like I am surrounded by family and friends yet I am alone. I feel like I know myself better than ever yet there is so much more to discover.

My path is different.

I know the age of her death is arbitrary. I know the chance that I will follow in her footsteps of early demise is unlikely. Yet I can’t shake it. The closer I get to the age she died the more I feel like there is a shadow cast upon my soul.

My path is different. But only if I make it so.

This decade I will love more. Laugh more. Smile more. Feel more gratitude. Experience more joy.

Happy birthday, Mom.

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