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Today is my mother’s birthday. She would’ve been 71 years old. My mother was only 58 when she died. This is not meant to be a sad blog post. I hope it will be read in the spirit it was written.

We all handle grief differently. I am certainly not in any way some sort of expert here or giving anyone any kind of advice. This is just me, on a computer, venting my feelings on a particular subject. Although this is a blog for my art business, my real life, my emotions, all affect my creativity. This is the thoughts I woke up with today.

I remember growing up in a grief stricken home. My grandmother died suddenly and unexpectedly at 42 years old. My mom was only 14 at the time. She was the one to come home from school, like every other day, and found her dead mother. It’s been said that the coffee my grandmother was drinking at the time, was still warm. So, it was very quick and I’m sure not a scene any child needed exposure to. My mother lived with this tragedy until her death at 58. Mom had always told me she would die young. She was absolutely positive she would meet her mothers same fate. She didn’t although she still died very young. Her 42nd birthday came & went just fine. My mother lost her father in 1988. He died from pancreatic cancer. It was a long, painful, and drawn out illness in which he suffered tremendously. My mom went through two very extremes in losing her parents. This had an ongoing impact on her and in turn on me. I would watch her when their birthdays, holidays, death dates go into a state of deep grief. Every. Single. Time. I think my mom was mourning more what could’ve been. She grew up in a very dysfunctional, alcoholic home. She would go into a state of deep depression, at least on that one day….sometimes for days leading up to that day. Those dates were absolutely to be met with sadness, grief, depression, and anxiety. It was an unsaid requirement throughout our home.

Birthdays were a big deal to my mom. Her parents rarely remembered her birthday. When they did remember, it usually went unacknowledged. So, at my house, there was always birthday presents, cakes, balloons, flowers, etc. Even on her deathbed she asked a friend of mine to promise I would always have a birthday cake. I always tried to make up to my mom where her parents didn’t do things for her birthday. Of course, as a child, that wasn’t my responsibility. I just wanted her to be happy and know she was special on her birthday.

After she passed, I decided I would not spend her birthday, or other significant dates, in a state of grief. My mother was not perfect. Being raised as she was, she had her own dysfunctions, but I was never abused. My mother let me know she loved me and was proud of me to the point I would sometimes tire of hearing it. So, today I honor my Mom by having a great day. I miss my mother, but I am no longer sad on those dates. Every day is a gift and should not be taken lightly. Time is the most important asset and should never be wasted. There is nothing wrong with grieving. I don’t consider grief wasted time. For me, I had to put a time limit on it. Everyone finds their own path in grieving. But, I do not prove my love for my mother by grieving myself into a state of depression. I choose to grieve my mother by honoring her. I honor her by enjoying the fact that she was born on this day and was my mother. I choose to have a nice meal, or something I love to do, or maybe go treat myself to some shopping. Heck, I may stay home in my PJ’s all day and do nothing!

Regardless, I choose to LIVE. I choose to happy. I choose peace.

Happy Birthday Mom! I am glad you were born and was chosen to be my Mom! I love you and celebrate those 58 years God gave you & the 37 we had together!

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