My childhood was pretty idyllic. I grew up in an upper/middle class home in a quiet residential area, with an extremely loving and close family. Most college applications have a question asking you to write about a struggle you have faced and how you overcame it, and I can remember having trouble with that question because at that time I had never really faced any serious hardships. Unfortunately, that period of my life couldn’t last forever… One year ago today, my mother passed away after being in the hospital for a month with a lung infection, then suffering a stroke.
I don’t normally talk about my mom. When people ask me what my mom does, I’ll tell them that she used to work for Disney and then I’ll try to move on in the conversation as quickly as possible. I’m not afraid to talk about her, but it’s still more comfortable to say what she used to do than to explain. Recently however, I have been trying to talk about her more because I know she would tell me that the best way to work through something is to talk about it.
My mom and I were incredibly close. Simply put she was my person. On long car rides we would talk about anything, from the style of architecture we would use for our dream houses, to my troubles with girls, from the time she went on a date with George Clooney, to my plans for medical school. She was always there for me in every way imaginable. She was the first person I would call for advice. She knew me better than anyone else in the world. Being able to talk to her about every aspect of my life was something that I will always cherish.
Family was always important to my mom, she was the glue that held our family together. And now that she’s gone I’ve started to turn towards my friends for the same support I got from her. She taught me that we all need to have a support system around us. People to talk to about our troubles and our fears, people to share our successes with.
She did so much for me and my entire family and I never really got to thank her for that. I know she knew that I was thankful for everything she sacrificed for me, but I don’t think I ever told her. And now that I can’t tell her in person, I think the best way to thank her is by using the lessons she taught me, by fulfilling my dreams and by being truly happy. That’s why I push myself so hard to be successful in school, because I want to show her that all the things she did for me didn’t go to waste. I want to go to medical school and become a doctor to show her that I was able to fulfill my dream, a dream that she was always sure I would accomplish. I want her to be proud of me but, most of all, I want to show her that I will be okay without her.
It’s been a year. I still think about her every day, but now I’m able to do it with a smile on my face because I know that she prepared me for anything, even losing her. I can still hear her voice in the back of my mind, giving me advice and I know that I’ll never lose that connection to her. But, most importantly, knowing that part of her will always be with me has given me the strength to keep on pursuing my dreams and make her happy by being happy myself.