“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.”
Amazing vacations spent with family, chock full of beach days, hikes, ice cream, and cookouts. Endless summer days spent “riding bikes” to nowhere and playing manhunt until the street lights came on. Those are some of my fondest childhood memories. Great as those times were, my very favorite memories don’t look anything like the sun-filled days described.
The oldest of four children, I was born to young parents. Often overwhelmed with the chaos that is four children, I took solace in the rare quiet moments spent alone with my mom. Though not often, and usually because I was sick or had somehow managed to injure myself, spending uninterrupted time alone with my mom was always something I eagerly looked forward to. To this day, these memories absolutely fill both my heart and my mind with the familiar and welcome feeling of nostalgia.
When I was sick my mom was The Best! She always made sure we had a freshly made bed and her trusty humidifier was never far. To this day the smell of Vick’s Vapo Rub instantly transports me back in time. In a house with four young children the TV and who would control it was often a source of conflict. Not when we were sick, though. Mom always made sure I had a TV in my room, set to exactly what she somehow knew I wanted to watch.
I didn’t get sick often during the Summer, but when I did, Mom didn’t disappoint. No matter how hot, humid, or downright miserable it was outside Mom always made sure I had a cool place to rest; usually atop a cool sheet spread over the couch right next to her. We spent countless hours watching reruns on Nick at Night, just the two of us. At just 10 years old, I was well versed in both the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Sherlock Holmes.
When both she and I knew I was starting to get better and would inevitably have to return to school, once again she didn’t disappoint. As a mom myself now looking back, I realize how many “just one more day, just to make sure you’re really 100%” days she gifted me with. That’s right, gifted. Whether I had a minor cold, strep throat, or a broken ankle my mom made it better. She realized the importance of us getting “just one more day” of solo time in together and for this, I will always be grateful.