On Becoming an Adult Orphan

I sit sipping my morning coffee feeling unmoored from the loss of my mother. I am now forced to contemplate my life without a mother, without a father. I close my eyes and imagine myself as a young child whose balloon has escaped my tenuous grasp. I begin to weep as I look down at my unfurled hand, the same hand that held my mother’s just one short week ago as we laughed as if we had all the time in the world to share. I feel a penetrating void slowly burden every inch of my body. My eyes look skyward and trail the balloon as it floats aimlessly. Now what? No one is left who intimately remembers the day of my birth, no one who loves me unconditionally and imperfectly, as only a parent is able to, and no one who remembers my fears, silliness, challenges, and triumphs quite like a mother and father. I capture my last glimpse of the balloon as it bumps between tree branches and temporarily gets stuck as it meanders on its journey. As quickly as it gets stuck, the balloon breaks free and I watch it float out of sight. I understand. My life is forever altered, and nothing will be as it was. Goodbye sweet Mother

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100 days of what makes me happy, in photographs. Day 9: Spending a Friday evening with my grown daughter, pictured here many moons ago.

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100 days of what makes me happy, in photographs. Day 9: Spending a Friday evening with my grown daughter, pictured here many moons ago.

Be it being silly, solving the worlds problems, shopping, or eating, spending time with my middle child makes my heart sing.

What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be.
~ Helen Claes

Some Lessons I Learned From My Father

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Strength is often shown in quiet and unassuming ways

Loving someone enough may mean letting them find their own way, even if it means losing them for awhile

Stubbornness is a survival instinct that can push you to great heights, or blind you to new possibilities

Educating yourself is addictive and opens your mind to things that were previously hidden from view

Music is a beautiful form of emotion that can heal and give strength

Not everyone will appreciate who you are, but be yourself anyway