This week marks the 11th anniversary of my mother's death due to breast cancer. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her and wonder what life would be like if she were still here today.
You see, my mother was a huge beacon of strength and wisdom for our family. Not only did she teach us through her words, she taught us by example -- by being with us as we met our challenges and learned our lessons. She taught us to love others deeply, have tolerance of others even if they aren't like you, to never turn down a great adventure, to value your friends, to accept your challenges head-on without complaint, and to always be there for one another because there is strength in numbers. Whenever you interacted with my mother, you were a changed person -- for the better.
I'll never forget the night when I explained to my youngest son, William, that his Grandma would be going to heaven soon just like our dog Weezie had done the night before. He replied, "Well, tell her not to, 'cause I am not done knowing her yet." And I have to say those words still resonate with me all these years later. I felt at the time and still feel today that I was and am not done knowing her. Not yet, anyway.
At times, it's easy to find yourself feeling sad or spiteful when things don't go as planned. After all, my mother was relatively young, full of life and still had so much to give. Why was she taken from us so soon? The simple truth is, we've all experienced or will experience challenging times at some point in our lives -- and I'm no exception. You've probably heard me talk before about the fact that there are two ways to navigate life -- in misery or happiness. And I choose happiness.
That's why this month, instead of focusing on the negative, I'm going to celebrate the blessings in my life -- including my mother's legacy of the importance of being there for one another. And what better way than teaming up with Lifeisgood.com to help children in need? Their mission is to help kids in poverty, sickness, and pain through optimism. From donating musical instruments in New Orleans to building basketball courts in Long Beach, they are helping kids who need it most.
Help us support this incredible cause by snapping a photo during the month of October and telling us something you "got to" do or are grateful for and sharing your photo on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #DitchTheDrama & #GROWtheGood. For every hashtag posted, Life Is Good will donate $1 to a kids program in need.
Even though she's gone, I believe that my mom remains with us, still teaching and reminding us of what's truly important in life. This campaign is proof of that, which is why I've vowed to view the anniversary of her death through eyes of remembrance and gratitude for the time we had together, remembering the good times, not just the bad.
So what are you waiting for? Celebrate and share the positive moments in your life and help us #GrowtheGood today.