My mother is a beautiful-strong-intelligent-persevering-teacher- leader-facilitator-force of nature who has always maintained a very definitive point of view in her life. Her list of accomplishments is towering, her perpetual “bucket list” rivals in length, and her philanthropic spirit, excitement, and desire to give to incredible causes multiplies her passion for life into one filled with exponential purpose.

By the time I came bounding into the world—all rough n’ tumbling—our family already consisted of my mother, my father and my older sister, Sarah. My sister and I could not have been more different on the outside—she with her short, stocky stature, long, flaxen hair, blue eyes that had to read, and introverted personality that loved to stay inside. Me, with my long, lanky, athletic frame, short brown hair, chocolate brown eyes that landed on every sports ball ever made, and extroverted personality that loved to run and play outside. Though, my sister and I may have differed greatly at first glance, my mother was adamant that we both know we could do, be or have anything that we set our minds and hearts on doing. We used to say it in unison while playing in the bathtub. We used to say it back and forth to one another while writing our names with the beam of a flashlight on our bedroom wall. We used to whisper it to one another while we secretly stayed up way past our bedtime. 

We can be, do or have anything we want in this world, if we set our minds and our hearts to it.

My beautiful mother made sure that I remembered it after my beloved sister was killed the summer she turned ten years old.

This philosophy, this worldly orientation, took the ceiling off of my dreams, it took the limitations out of my desires, it simply and profoundly took me out of any box, single label, or societal shrink-wrap that could’ve imprisoned my personality or stifled my growth. Don’t get me wrong—life still came, and continues to come, at me—however, my brilliant mother had the inimitable foresight to know the supreme importance of allowing both my sister and me to be our biggest and best selves before the world tried to make us small…

And for that—and infinitely more—I am forever appreciative. I love you, Mama

Happy Mother’s Day!