I lost my mom when I needed her the most... There. I’ve finally admitted it. And this is the first time I have. I’ve lost count of how many drafts I’ve started to share my story but I think this will be the last one. The grieving process is such an indescribable journey and it’s a journey that I’ve chosen to navigate internally. Releasing what I can to God and no one else. I’ve made the decision to be strong...like my mother. People keep telling me I don’t have to be strong, but I want to be. My mother was the queen of telling me to “get it together” and I love being able to be a strong woman, standing tall in the midst of pain, just like my mother did during her battle with cancer. That strength that she had, is in me. And it makes me feel good to know that I’m strong like her. It keeps me connected. It’s what helps me get through each moment... and each day... right now.
Not too many people knew that I was going through the happiest and saddest time of my life this year. In my opinion, I truly learned how beautiful life is and how fragile life is in the most personal way possible. I was blessed to have a life, my first child, growing inside of my womb, all while watching the one who birthed me, fight for her life and transition from this earth. It was an experience and a season that I can’t find words to describe. But through the grace of God I’ve made it to a place of peace. And not only have I made it but I’m doing okay...
My mother passed away when I began my eighth month of pregnancy. And for the sake of my unborn child, I chose to “get it together.” I didn’t want my child to be to feel a great amount of sorrow and pain. I didn’t want my child to be born to a "sad mother." I prayed that I didn’t experience postpartum depression and tapped into the power of supernatural strength and peace. I have a grip on it so tight and don’t plan on ever letting go. I’m able to embrace the beauty of motherhood... It makes me feel a connection with my mom. Longing to make my mother proud, doing things that she did for me, keeps her light bright for me. Everything she taught me, Everything she showed me, I am now able to give to my son, and that makes me feel so much joy. My mother taught me that the Joy of the Lord is my strength and I’ve learned to enjoy my husband, my child, my family, my son and the memories of my mom. And because I stepped out on faith, giving myself permission to enjoy this life I’ve been blessed with, I’ve gained strength. Not only have I gained strength, but I’ve also gained Peace that passes all understanding.
I’m not claiming to have things figured out. I’m not claiming that I don’t have quiet days or moments of tears. The journey is unpredictable... I just take things one day at a time. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this new normal, and I know it will take a lifetime. But as I grow, I’m learning about who I am as a daughter, as a sister, as a wife and as a mother. I am my mother’s legacy and I will dedicate my journey of motherhood and womanhood to her. My mother, Ileana Watson, was a bright light that brightened up many lives. And I am forever thankful that I was blessed to be her daughter.