When I used to think about my mom I saw the woman who would volunteer everyday in the elementary, middle, and high school (much against my will), or the woman who would constantly be telling me to pick up my stuff, or who would drag me around the grocery store for hours on end, even though it was only supposed to take "5 minutes". She was caretaker, cold doctor, and therapist. She was event planner, and chauffeur. She was #1 fan and laundry do-er. She was Mom. This had been my definition of her for 18 years. Having moved a little ways away home and into college for the first time, I now have a very different definition of "Mom" .

Instead of being with my mom nearly 24/7 like before, I now only see her on sparse occasions such as the casual coffee date, or shopping trip. This has tremendously changed the light in which I now see my mom. I see her as best friend, companion, advice giver, wisdom implant-er, and most importantly, a woman in pursuit of following God to the very best of her abilities. I am now seeing my Mom in the light of an actual human being rather than someone who I was forced to live with. I now hear her struggles of everyday life, and her triumphs. She confides in me now as an adult friend, rather than a child, and while I am still her daughter, we now relate on an almost equal platform.

While we were on a dinner outing with my roommate, I was watching her speak under the dim mood lighting of the Olive Garden, (classy, I know), I was observing just how confidently she carried herself, and the ease at which she spoke with people; a quality that I used to dislike about my mom, I now covet. Another roommate had told me a few days earlier that I look much like my mom. Where before I would have cringed at the thought of looking like my mother, I now received this as the most valuable compliment. I almost did not feel worthy to be compared to such a giving, God-fearing woman as she. Her olive skin, with laugh lines that prove a good life, her deep brown eyes that my dad could not help falling in love with, her dark curly hair loosely pulled up into a flowery clip. Where I saw a beautiful and confident woman, I also saw her as much older, and fragile than I had before, I not only saw her as physically more fragile, but emotionally, realizing that this strong woman can actually be hurt, and how some of the hurt in her life had probably come from my childhood arrogance.

Seeing her in this state has made me realize just how important our time with loved ones is; it is the most precious gift that God has given us. We were not meant to live this life alone, but in fellowship with one another. Where we were not meant to live this life alone, we were also not meant to live it forever. This life is short compared to our eternity with our Father in Heaven, but has been given to us for a reason. To build relationships and learn from each other, to make the most of what we have, while we have it. So cherish those around you, especially your moms, because they have given us the best of their lives here, and for that we should be forever grateful