Reflections on 37

So today, I turn 38. I'm not sad about it. I'm a true believer in the "age is nothin' but a number" approach to life. But I think it's a good day to reflect back on the year I was 37.

37... such an odd number (literally). I'm not quite sure how I feel about the past year. In some ways it brought some pretty low times, but in many other ways there were a lot of high points to celebrate.

37 was the first full year of my life without my mom. BIGGEST LOW! While I worked hard to heal and be the strong independent woman my mom raised me to be, I realized very quickly that even the smallest details of life need a mother's opinion or guidance. I can't count the number of times I picked up my phone to call my mom to share something the kids had done or ask her a question. I miss our Sunday night phone calls. I miss her honesty. I miss her genuine love for me. I miss her being here for my kids. I miss my mom.

37 was the year that I faced my fear and started participating in races. I turned my fear into a passion! Not only did I learn to love the race, but also I learned to love the training! I trained really hard. I ran my first race. I got injured. I rehabbed. I recovered. I raced again! I ran my first half marathon and didn't quit! It was awesome. Then I ran my 2nd half marathon and realized, as I crossed the finish line, what I started as a way to honor my mom, has become a new and very important part of my life. I still run to honor my mom. That will never change. But now I also run because she gave me my wings and I'm learning to fly with them!

37 was the year that I became an adult. Doesn't that sound crazy? I don't even know if I can explain this to someone who hasn't lost both parents. Here goes... No matter how old we are, as long as we have our parents, we are still a child. Looking for affirmation, approval, guidance, support, friendship, and love. Not kidding... the moments following my mother's passing, I felt a distinct change in who I was. I was no longer the child who always could rely on my mom to provide comfort. I had to be the adult. I had to make hard decisions. I had to dig into the archives of strength she had left for me... because that's what I had left. That's what I had to do. I grew up in a matter of moments. I grew up in the last 365 days.

Looking forward to 38!

Here are some of my favorite images from 37. The first picture is the last picture I have with my mom. I wasn't 37 at the time, but it reminds me of how much I need her and how strong she made me!

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