Questions for my mother {Part Two}: Do you know how much I think about you?

Everyday. Usually multiple times a day.

I wonder where she is now. I feel her here with me but I wonder if it's my own creation. Does her essence still exist beyond the memories we hold? I guess I'll never know for sure. We had a difficult relationship when I was growing up and there is so much I'd like to talk to her about....but today I will write a little tribute. Here are some of the things I learned from my mom:

She taught me to speak my mind and to speak from my heart. My mom was tough and honest. She knew she could handle most anything and now I feel the same way about myself. She was a triage nurse in the ER for 16 years and I think she must have thrived somewhat on the adrenaline. She taught me to follow my passions. After leaving the hospital, she ran a bed & breakfast out of our home, started a cafe and then went back to school for her master's degree and worked in geriatrics until she was too sick to work. She taught me me to work hard for what I want, that life isn't easy or fair (I hated when she said that!). But she also taught me to be curious and adventurous--she was up for anything--deep-sea fishing, hiking, traveling, even soaking nude in a California hot spring--mastectomy scars and all. My mom was kind and compassionate. She taught me to be open to ideas and to truly love and accept people for who they are. People loved her because she was loyal, honest and fun. My mom gave me a love for cooking and enjoying the small pleasures of life--like sitting on the beach and dinner and drinks with friends. She taught me that life is about experiences and what you make of them--not about achieving specific goals or status. 
Thanks Mom.
Living, loving and laughing.

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