Over the past month, my life has made a drastic change. She was my rock, the only person I cried to. She was my biggest fan and biggest critic. She was my storyteller and my interviewer. My life started with her. But I believe that my journey started when hers ended. It seems that each lecture, lesson and heart felt conversation I had with my mother were preparation for her departure. This is the reason instead of starting at the beginning and tracing my life up until this point, I find it most appropriate to start at the present moment, because the most important thing to me now, is the now. Now what am I going to do? Now where am I going to go? Now what do I want to do when I grow up? Now. Now. Now.
“Your cross is beautiful hun,” he said as his dark and daring eyes stared at me from behind the counter.
“Thank you it was my mom’s, I got it for her in Greece,” I remarked.
It was my moms’. My mom was… and then I fill in the blank. She was a fighter. She was a friend. She was an inspiration. WAS, the word itself still makes cringe. I still struggle with the idea of putting her existence in the past. My story starts at the symbol of the cross, of her cross. As a child my family and I would go to church nearly every Sunday. My mom and I always sit next to each other in church. She cradled her warm elegant hands up against mine and pressed my three fingers together to make a point. And then she would guide my arm up to my forehead, down to my stomach, to my right shoulder and then to my left. And I would practice this motion over and over before I went to bed. I would hold my gold cross in between my hands and rubbed it gently until I finally fell asleep. I was terrified as a child to sleep alone and this routine calmed my nerves.
Once she finally fell asleep after an 11-year battle with cancer, I grabbed her cold elegant hand and pressed her three fingers together to make a point. Then I guided her arm up to her forehead, down to her stomach, to her right shoulder and then to her left. In my head I could hear her say, “Pass it on”. Now, I wear her gold Grecian cross across my chest to remind me that she lives within me and her spirit will never have to be associated with the word WAS.
I hear her little lessons and axioms everyday, proving that even though she is a heaven’s away, her lessons will never cease.
“Pass it on,” I heard her say. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, pass it on. Do everything in moderation, pass it on. Always take one thing at a time, pass it on. Who you marry is one of the most important decisions that you make, pass it on.
Now, the most important goal that I have is passing on her lessons.