A Different Kind Of Motherly Love

A Different Kind Of Motherly Love

Dedicated to my mother
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Parents are a blessing because they are the only people in the world that will love, support, guide and be honest with you, no matter the circumstances. My childhood was extremely playful and exciting, thanks to them and my two siblings.

I always felt the happiest and the most loved when there was affection between me and the family. My dad was always the most affectionate, with endless hugs and kisses, however, my mother always had a different way of showing love.

My mother is the most courageous, bold and independent woman I have met in my life. She always has a goal in life, she searches for new things to do and learn. She is my family's fairy godmother because she devotes all her time making sure her children are happy, healthy and determined.

My mother believes that no matter how hard things get in life, continue to remain a fighter.

Don't stop, keep making progress because you will eventually get there. It was a way of reminding me that I will be a confident and independent woman on my own two feet.

So, her way of showing love was through verbal encouragement and the occasional pat on the back. She doesn't like hugs or kisses, she prefers a good high five or a fist pump. What I can recall from my memory, I have seen my mother cry once in life, and that was when her parents visited the US for the very first time.

My mother and I never had a close relationship like that sort I saw in my friends and their mothers. I would see them go shopping, share secrets and do a bunch of girly things. I once tried to ask my mother about her teenage years, and all she said was "it was great' and chose not to share anything else.

She prefers to be more stern and forceful, but I wouldn't have it any other way. She doesn't sugarcoat anything, she remains utmost honest and critical because it's all out of love. That close feeling that I wanted for so long occurred the day I was leaving for college.

It was a rainy day at around 5 a.m. in Houston. I was ready in the car to be driven to the airport. I was excited and nervous. Everyone emotionally broke down in my family, except my mom. She remained strong like she always has been.

I waved her goodbye and we left.

Just as we were about to exit outside of the gated community, I requested my father to stop and turn around the car because I wanted to see mom again. There she was, standing right there with her arms open. I ran towards her and hugged her so tight after so many years. I said, "I love you mom and I will be your brave daughter".

Love can come in many different shapes and forms and our bond may not be the typical mom and daughter story, but I'm thankful for what she has sacrificed for me and hope to resemble the woman my mother is.

Cover Image Credit: Photo taken by Maya Moujaes

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the beautiful barefoot boy

The goal isn't to live forever, but to create something that will.

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This morning, I did the same thing I do every single morning when I wake up. Before my feet hit the floor, I say a prayer. I thank God for waking me up, blessing me with such a good life, and pray for any specific thing that is laying on my heart. Lately, I have been praying a lot for the same person many people in my community have been praying for- Matt McGregor. I have prayed for healing, comfort, strength, and many other things to happen in Matt's journey, but I also prayed that God's will be done in his life above all else. Little did I know yet that His will had been done.

I remember Matt from school. Every time I saw him, everyone around him was laughing. And I am not exaggerating. He was one of those special people who can literally make anyone and everyone laugh no matter the situation. He was one of those people that the world needs around to make life more bearable and just down right better.

Death sucks. Cancer sucks. Yes, I am glad that Matt is no longer suffering, but that does not really give me a sense of relief because I know his family and friends are suffering. I think about Matt's sisters, and cannot fathom the pain that they're feeling. I could not imagine life without my brothers, my kids not getting to grow up and hang out with their cool uncles, and telling on each other to our parents when we all come home for Christmas when we're 40. I think about his parents, who are having to do the hardest thing anyone could have to do, say goodbye to their son. I think about his friends, who's lives will never be the same every time they do something that reminds them that he's no longer here to share life with. He was too young, too full of life. The worst death are the ones that can't be explained, and this one of them.

That's the thing about life, you never know when it's going to end and that is what makes it so fragile. Someone you know passes away, and you suddenly start to contemplate whether you are living your life "good" enough. You wish you'd spent more time with the one who passed, hold on a little tighter to the ones who are still here, and make sure you remind them you love them. But to show someone you love them is much more powerful than telling them, and that is exactly how Matt lived his life. His life light was beaming all the time and he was constantly sharing that with everyone around him. That is part of why he was so special.

When someone dies, they leave their own legacy that is different from every single other person on the planet. Your legacy depends on the amount of light that you have shed on others. Looking through Facebook today, it is so obvious that his light touched so many people. Matt's death has reminded me of those that I have and will continue to lose throughout life... there is no better way to say it than death sucks. But even though death sucks, it reminds us to live our life to the fullest, and continue the legacy of those we've lost.

On a side note, I found it interesting that Matt was barefoot all the time, so I googled being barefoot in biblical times. Moses and Joshua was commanded to take off his shoes as he was standing on holy ground, and poor people did not have shoes so they went barefoot. But this is my favorite: priests in Israel went barefoot while ministering. They would take their shoes off before blessing their people. It is evident that Matt blessed so many people's lives in his short time on this Earth. Coincidence that he was known for always being barefoot? I think not.

Let your life light shine brightly like Matt's, and always live life to the fullest.

. . .

In loving memory of Matt McGregor Jr.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them." Revelation 14:13

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15 Thank-Yous To My Biggest Support

Thank you, Dad, for all that you do.

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Hey Dad, you're kind of super awesome and you deserve the world. While I can't exactly give you that at the moment, I can take the time to thank you for just a few of the amazing things you've done for me over the last 20 years.

1. Working your butt off day-in and day-out

Everything I am and everything I have been able to do is all thanks to your hard work. Thank you for working so hard and doing all that you can to support our family.

2. Dealing with my dramatics

I get it- I'm not super easy to deal with. And yes there have been a few times I needed put in my place but most of the time you just let me live my dramatic life. Plus, just looking at this picture everyone can tell where i get my dramatics from.

3. Spoiling the crap out of me 

I'm not some spoiled brat but at the same time I am some spoiled brat. Thank you for giving me everything I could have ever needed and wanted.

4. But also keeping me humble

I still had to get a job and work and buy things myself. Thank you for teaching me the value of money (something a lot of my friends don't know) and teaching me that there are a lot of people out there who aren't as fortunate as we are.

5. Being my #1 fan

You have a t-shirt that says "Cheer Dad"... I think this one is self-explanatory

6. Being my coach on and off the field

Remember when you coached my softball team? Remember when you would walk over to the backstop and coach me even you technically weren't supposed to? Well as annoyed as i may have seemed then, thank you for always being there and calming me down after those really crappy games.

7. Supporting (almost) all of my decisions 

You wanna go to a $70,000 school? Get your grades up and get in, we'll make it work. Thanks, Dad :)

8.  Listening to me complain about nursing school

I know that half the time you have no idea what I'm talking about but you listen and let me cry anyway.

9. Hugging me so hard you squeeze the tears out 

You know exactly what I'm talking about. Nothing can make me cry quicker than a long, tight hug from my biggest support system.

10. Taking silly selfies like the one below

Clearly my mom is not amused

11. Teaching me important lessons/survival skill in life 

Whether I actually listen or not... Thank you for taking me to vote for the first time, making me shovel snow, defrost my car, go for an oil change, and try to explain taxes to me. There is so much more that I am so thankful to learn from you.

12. Passing along at least some musical talent

Of course we'll never be at great as you and Mom, but thank you for giving me your love of music and always being willing to jam out to musicals with me.

13. Teaching me to be strong when times were tough 

And we've had some TOUGH times

14. Staying on me to stay in shape

Yeah my career kind of depends on it and I know I roll my eyes out of my head when you mention it but thank you for pushing me anyway.

15. Always knowing how to make me smile 

Whether we're making fun of Mom or just acting silly in general you always know what to do.

And one for good luck... always believing in me

You've always believed I am strong enough to do whatever I wanted to do and that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Thank you for letting me fly but always being there in case I fall and thank you for encouraging me to be my best possible self.

I promise I will make you proud.

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