Friday, June 05, 2009

The Best Mom I Know

Experiences such as the death of her mother, two years after her own birth. Abandoned and given away by a young father. Adopted by a poor, Christian family. Became a single mom to two girls. Lost her only biological sister to an early death. Years passed, and lost a third child to an early grave.

For most of us, these are ingredients for the makings of a tragic life. Yet my mother, Dorothy Ann Taylor, chose to triumph over tragedy. She made the mental decision to win and not be defeated at the hand she was dealt. Her entire life was lived in a matter that chose to see the positives over the negatives, always with style and grace. I think my mom, Dot, as we affectionally called her, figured out that life is what we make it out to be and family is whoever you hold dear in your heart.

Regretfully, I lost my mother, my best friend, to breast cancer many years ago; yet, it feels like only yesterday. Years have passed, but the pain and yearning for my mother remains. My mom was my rock---the only person who has ever loved me with unconditional love, accepted me for who I am, flaws and all. Her unbending strength and strong fortitude were my shelter during silent storms and how I miss the many conversations in which my sadness and lows was quickly turned into genuine laughter. There were many happy times, too many to list. Laughter was always present in our home because my mom had a wonderful sense of humor and always kept us in stitches.

Growing up, looking back now, my mother did the very best she could with what we had. We may not have had a lot of material possessions, but we had a lot of love and that was enough. My sister and I grew up with a wonderful sense of who we are and our place in the world. My mom had a way of making me feel very special and she was so proud of my successes no matter how large or small. Even though I never told her, my mom was my hero. Even on her deathbed, she was a symbol of grace, strength and faith…still thinking of others and putting others first.

My mom's gifts to me: she taught me, by example, how to be independent, self-sufficient, strong and confident, how to always hold my head high in the midst of my failures, how to pray, how to reach for the stars, believe in myself and to follow my dreams. That's her legacy. One I hope to pass on to my daughter, Briana.

My mom was a dreamer, an achiever, a wise woman, a survivor…the best mom I know, my hero. Dorothy Ann Taylor. Forever and always in my heart and soul.

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