It’s my mom’s birthday today. So, I’ll head to the store soon to buy the sweetest card I can find. Well, that or one with a cute dog saying something hysterical on it. Either way, I’ll try to fit a few lines underneath Hallmark’s generic message to express how grateful I am to call her mine.
As a kid, I’m not sure I realized how good I had it. I knew my family loved me and supported me, but I was naïve enough to believe that was the norm. I thought we all had people in our corner, rooting for us, listening to our long winded stories, feeling our joy and experiencing our pain.
I see and know now that my mom’s encouragement and unconditional love wasn’t just par for the course. It was a choice. It was a choice to share everything she had to give with my dad, brother, sister, and me. It was a choice to stay up late when we were sick, to hug us tight when our hearts were broken, to sit in rainstorms to cheer our soccer teams on, and to believe that we were the best things to happen to her.
I doubt I will ever be able to fully express what my mom means to me, but I can say this: Because of her, I know what it feels like to fight for what’s important in life. During my meltdown moments, the times I question myself, and the instances in which my confidence wavers, I often hear my mom’s voice echoing those 3 simple words. Find your fight.
I know what finding my fight looks like because I’ve seen my mom experience the depths of grief and choose to continue to love with her whole heart anyway. I’ve watched her have bad days, the kind where it’d be easier to pack up the car and run far away, and she’s stayed. I’ve heard disappointment in her voice, the type that comes from ourselves, and others, and the world we live in, and still, she remains hopeful, optimistic, and full of faith. Her life has been my example of what it looks like, day in and day out, to find your fight.
So, maybe today, I’ll write in her card that even though life’s not always easy, I’m doing alright because she taught me what it means to be strong. Or perhaps I’ll say that watching her find her fight taught me how to find my own. Above all else, I think this year I’ll thank my mom for showing me that people, passion, priorities, love and life are always worth fighting for along the way.