One of my favorite music groups, Lord Huron, sings, "I said life without end wouldn't have any meaning. The journey to death is the point of our being." Any way you look at it, we are all traveling to the same destination, but it's how we get there and what we do before we get there that differs. It's how you spend your energies. It's how you love. From the legacy that my Mother left behind, it's crystal clear to me that she did all the right things.
Over the past 5+ years, my Mother had been dealing with an unwanted predator. Brain Cancer. During those initial years, thanks to the help of many, (Duke Medical, my step-father, my sister, countless others) she dealt with her illness the best way she knew how: by kicking it's ass. As her illness progressed, there was never a moment of hesitation on treatments. Never a lapse in her optimism. Never a shred of doubt in her mind that she would't beat this thing. Her positive nature and faith were steadfast. She exhibited an attitude of positivity, even in her final days, that was constant. Now that her struggle is over, I know that she is not in anymore pain. She is with her parents and her friends that went before her. She is dancing. She is happy.
My Mother's personality, joy of life, humor and uniqueness were, and always will be, timeless. She lifted others up by simply being around them. That magnetic smile of hers lit up a room. Her laugh, which is something I will miss dearly, was contagious. For as long as I can remember, my Mother knew that life was a gift. She knew it wasn't to be wasted, but to be lived to the fullest. And, in the words of her brother, she wanted "her life to be a statement and not an apology."
By my Mother's inspiration, this is what I hope to accomplish. To live my life to the fullest. To make a statement. To treat life as the gift she knew it was. To love unconditionally each and every day. To make her proud.
Although we can't know how long we have on this earth, we can choose to live each and every day with purpose. That's what my Mother did and that's what I hope to do. I love you, Mom. I always will.