Corny Hallmark Capitalistic holiday or not, Mother’s Day is important to me, and the time that I spend reflecting on my mother and her legacy has taught me many lessons.

It is the day that I reflect on my role as a mother while giving honor to the mother-figures in my life.

Since my Mom passed away in 2017 the holiday has taken on a new meaning.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was profoundly sad last year, to the point of not being able to get out of bed for a significant portion of the day.

Somehow Mother’s Day was even sadder than the 1-year anniversary of her death. I think it was the realization that everyone in my life was celebrating their mothers on that day while I no longer had anyone to honor; that realization left bare the raw hole in my heart where my mother’s presence resided.

The love never dies, but I just missed her. I still miss her. 

Grief comes in waves, they say, and it could not be truer. One day I am smiling at a memory of her or our time together. Another day I feel like I cannot take one more breath without her.

One thing is certain: not a day goes by that I do not think of my beautiful mother. She truly was a special lady, and I am so blessed that was able to spend 35 years with her. 

My mom was a pediatric nurse who worked in underserved communities. She fulfilled her purpose by caring for “the least of these” as the bible says. She worked tirelessly and ascended the ranks to become the Regional Nursing Director for Children’s Medical Services in Miami, FL.

She had so many people who loved and cared for her, from the patients to the nurses that she worked with. She was beloved by all, and made a huge difference in the lives of countless children in South Florida.  

If you knew my mom, you know that she was very active in her church as well, serving as a Sister Elder and chairing committees. She loved the church with every fiber of her being. 

Obviously, she was a devoted mother and grandmother. I have NEVER met anyone more selfless than my mom.

She loved with everything in her and was the kindest soul I have ever met. I truly mean that. 

Anyone who knew my mother well knows all of the above; however, my mother had another side to her that is less known. She was a serial entrepreneur and had a ton of big ideas.

Growing up, she always had an invention or something that she was working on that would make us rich. When I was very young, I can recall her playing the lottery regularly. There was one night that she almost won $100,000.

We were literally one number away, and were jumping up and down and screaming as a family. When that last number was called, the disappointment was crushing for me as a 5 or 6-year-old child, but it really changed my mother profoundly.

She never played the lottery again after that night. She also determined that she would not leave her future up to chance, and would work hard for whatever she received in life.  

That’s when the ideas began. She would work on invention after invention. She even submitted an invention to an agency that promised to help with getting patents. They told her that her idea would not work and that no one would buy it.

I’ll never forget my complete shock when, a decade later, her invention was being sold in stores around the country and advertised in infomercials with almost the exact name that she had given it.  

With all of the inventions and businesses that my mom started and stopped, she never really achieved measurable success in entrepreneurship. When she was a single mother who was raising 2 children and caring for her mom, can you blame her?

To this day I don’t know how she did all that she did with such love and grace.  

However, she was never able to see her ideas or businesses get off of the ground later in life either, despite my brother and I long since moving out and her mother passing away.

She did start a blog that was achieving a small but devoted following prior to her becoming ill.  

While cleaning out my mother’s home after she passed away, I made a devastating discovery. I found a large yellow envelope, the contents of which made my heart SHATTER. I found my mother’s handwriting on multiple pieces of paper.

Leafing through the pages, I realized that this was a book: a manuscript that my mother had written over a decade prior. On top of the manuscript was a note to a colleague or a friend-I didn’t recognize the name. She asked this person to type up the document for her. Either the person wasn’t willing or able to accomplish this task, or more devastating than that: my mother never asked.

She had written an entire book but never even got it typed up, let alone published. 

I sat in her living room that day with the contents of my mother’s thoughts, hopes, dreams, and aspirations between my fingers and had an epiphany: with all that my mother accomplished, with all of the success that she had, she had more to do. More to share. My mother was a gifted writer.

However, she did not have the opportunity to share her gift with the world in the way that she wanted.  

I wanted to scream. Why didn’t she tell me!!!

S he should have told me.I would have typed it. Or, I would have suggested that she hire someone to type it up.

At the very least I would have stayed on top of her until it was done. Can you imagine the regret of putting something into the world, something as personal and as challenging to write as a book, only to never have it read by anyone? That pain is palpable for me as her daughter so  I cannot imagine the pain she felt. 

I wonder if she thought about it often, or simply put it out of her mind? 

One thing is for sure-I know that my mother would want me to not second guess myself. To fully walk in my purpose.

My mother lived a great life. She dedicated her entire life to her children and to the children she served, but she had other passions that weren’t fully realized.  

Despite the imposter syndrome; despite my internal protests; despite how “busy” I say I am-I MUST be relentless in the pursuit of fulfilling my purpose. I will continue to do this to honor my mother’s memory.