Before I was even, I was a twinkle. There were two before me that didn't make it, and by all accounts I shouldn't have either. Early in a time before early was really viable, they must have given me some of their strength to fight. And fighting they were and had been for many years. My dad's illness had taken its toll on my mom, though she never talked about it much. But even as I was born, they were fighting for him, for us. Three children under six years old, with one, me, barely hanging on in those first years. The asthma was hard. I can only imagine what it must have been like for them. And then he was gone, before my second birthday. But we didn't go away, nor did she. She devoted every ounce of her being to make sure we lived there, and to our dreams. She celebrated his all-too-short life with each of our accomplishments. Things were never easy but they weren't that hard. To this day, I am not sure how she was able to make ends meet. But it wasn't about money; it was about strength and love. I don't ever remember wanting for either.
Parental love is just different from other love or emotions. A single word or glance has the power to cause our hearts to swell or our anger to erupt. We so crave the unconditional that we get, and give, to our children. As a parent now I get it, though as a kid, I am sure I took it for granted. And for all the times I forgot to say it, I know I felt her love. It was just there. I inherited her gift of communication and many other blessings that I can't even begin to count. Even though she now mends angel's gowns, she is in my heart more than ever. I miss her every day. Although we still talk all the time. I hear her in my footsteps, my applause, and in my silent sorrows. But my tears are of joy for she lived the life she wanted and achieved in all that she did.
A life worth living, without which I would never even have been a sparkle.