I am always grateful that as long as this IF road has been for J and I, that we have not had to experience a loss. So many of the women I have met along this road have and I cannot imagine that pain.
I'm not here to chat about that kind of loss today. Today I'm talking about the loss of a parent. (again, not mine) Yesterday one of my best friends lost her mother unexpectedly. If you've been around here for any length of time, you know the support and love Rachel has provided me during this journey. (and many other events in my life) That is just the kind of person Rachel is. She asks questions and gets involved. Not because she's nosey (okay, maybe a liiiittle bit :) but because she cares for people. It's what she does. She's a lover and a compassionate individual. She takes your burdens and makes them her own.
This includes the burden of her family, friends, internet peeps, neighbors, etc. When Rachel and I first became close friends she was caring for her young sister. Approximately 12 years her junior, Rachel's sister left her mother’s house and came to live with Rachel. The reasons here are not really important, but Rachel was able to provide her sister with the love, structure, and support that she desperately needed at that time. Why? Because that's just the kind of person she is.
Rachel has had some unfortunate experiences in her life. She has experienced too much loss, neglectful and hurtful relationships, and just hard times in general. Instead of allowing these life experiences to get her down, she has grown from them. Tremendously. She is a stronger woman and a better mother. Not just a mother to her own beautiful children, but in a way to our whole 'family'. She's there for advice and shoulder when we need it. She gives a roof to a baby sister that needed an escape. While I believe that she has survived and made herself a better person because of her life experiences, I must give some of that credit to Rachel's mother. She provided many examples of how to persevere, as well some examples of ways not to behave (all mothers do that occasionally - no disrespect to her mom).
From this I have been reminded to appreciate what I DO have. To love those that are in my life now and to tell those I love how I feel. Life is too short and isn't always fair.
So to you Rachel - I hope that in your days of mourning you mourn not for the 'loss' of your mother. Because in you she lives. In your strength, in the life lessons you bestow on your children and friends, and the care and mothering you provide us all. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I will continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. And if you need anything at all, I hope that you can come to me. That I can have an opportunity to return some of the support that you have shown me in dark days.