My mother was a writer and editor and all throughout my childhood, I had very fond memories of watching my mother work. When we were younger, my sister and I were sometimes toted along with her to work. My mom worked for Kraft Foods doing business writing (manuals, memos, etc.) and we would sit underneath her desk eating caramels that we found in the lobby of the building (and would hoard in our pockets for later), or the graphic designer my mom worked near would let us use her paper and pens to draw pictures. In her home office, my sister and I would crawl around her office while she clicked away on the computer. If she worked late into the night, her tapping was almost like a lullaby that put us to sleep.
When we got older, my mom opened her own freelance editing and writing business and worked from home. In my eyes, she was superwoman. She took care of us girls, did what she loved during the day, helped work on numerous charity events, and still had plenty of time for the family. Her passion and enthusiasm were something I always admired. and the way she was always there for me and my sister. She had it all in my eyes. And I wanted to be like her when I grew up. I still do. Having a work-life balance is something that is extremely important to me so I try to work hard, play hard, and make time for me and my family all at the same time - in short, I try to emulate my mother everyday.
My mom passed away six years ago from a malignant brain tumor. Losing her has been hands down the hardest thing I have ever had to go through and not a day goes by that I don't think about her or how much I miss her. One of the hardest parts of watching my mother struggle with her illness was watching her lose the ability to write and read. The tumor was unfortunately situated right on the part of the brain that operates those functions that were so important to her throughout her life - how she made a living and how she enjoyed each day. I was amazed by her strength to bear it and to listen to books on tape instead of reading and to still help my sister and I with our homework. Watching her lose her dream, made me realize how important dreams are and how important it is to savor every achievement.
On days like this, it is particularly hard to not have her around - the Mother's Day commercials, the card racks at pharmacies, the overwhelming number of emails about what to get your mother for this special day. But it is a day to celebrate her even though she isn't here. To celebrate all that she taught me about life, about work, about how to be me.
Today, my dad took me to brunch to celebrate my mother and all that she did for our family. And he told me that if she were here, she would be so proud of all that I have accomplished. I'm proud of me too to be where I am today.
I love you mom and I miss you. You are the best role model a girl (working or not) could ask for.