My mom’s death was life-changing for me
About 15 years ago I was living in Vegas with my ex-husband when I got a call.
My mom, only 47 said she had cancer.
My dad had already left years ago so it was just her.
We moved back to Texas to be with her
It was within a week of moving back, that I decided I was DONE DONE with my marriage.
I remember the exact moment when I snapped.
The exact night.
But, of course, I waited (too scared to be on my own and too scared of giving up the ‘good’ in the relationship)
My mom got sicker.
My (ex)husband and I bought a house.
And I prepared.
I hid money.
I started working on a degree in a career that would make a lot of money.
And I listened to my mom talk about…
How she just wanted to drive out to the Grand Canyon with her Australian Shepherd, Foster and look over the canyon at sunrise.
How she just wanted to take that last trip to Disney world with her girlfriends.
And… finally, where we were supposed to bury her
And how she couldn’t wait to go home and be with God.
She didn’t make it to 48.
And I realized how short life really was.
You don’t always ‘get’ that chance to go to the Grand Canyon
We don’t ‘get’ the chance to spend that one last moment
And for 4 years…
I wrestled with leaving my marriage.
I knew I was done, but was I making a mistake?
Was I going to regret it?
Was it worth giving up ‘the good things I did have’?
But I was living the same day over and over again.
I felt dead inside.
I had anxiety attacks.
I felt trapped in a loveless relationship that I ‘should have been grateful for’
And every birthday was a reminder that I was alone, living a life I hated, in a relationship I wasn’t happy in.
And life was short…
And every birthday… I balled my eyes out.
Until I left in 2008.
I went to Peru for 6 weeks…
Climbed up Manchu Picchu…
I snowboarded down sand dunes
I rode ATVs in the desert,
I went to the biggest salt flats in the world.
I shopped the small markets of Spanish speaking towns
Flew to Spain on a one-way ticket.
I met random people.
Slept on strangers floors, couches, and air mats
I booked flights to the wrong country and was very surprised when I got to the airport
I invited myself over to strangers’ houses and had.. Easter with an Italian family (only 2 of them spoke English)
I hitchhiked around England and Ireland.
I was homeless and ate out of dumpsters.
I ate cherries walking by a random cherry tree
I borrowed a bike and biked all around The Netherlands
I moved to Hawaii once
I sailed across the Gulf Coast (I was actually crewing the boat) and almost died in a storm
I scuba-dived down the coast of Central America.
I slept on remote deserted islands
I’ve been through the temples of Cambodia
I’ve re-visited Germany where I grew up
I’ve driven all over the US.
And I’ve seen the sunrise over the Grand Canyon several times.
I’ve come back and started doing bodybuilding competitions
I signed up for improv,
But not only did her death teach me to live,
It’s become my message.
It’s my mission.
I want you to know that you don’t have to settle in ANYTHING.
You don’t have to stay in a mediocre marriage, no matter how ‘good’ you have it
You don’t have to settle for anything
You get to CREATE the life you want.
You GET to make money doing what you love
You GET to be in a loving, soulmate, passionate relationship
You GET to have that healthy, energetic body.
Everything was pushing me to live.
Everything was pushing me to my calling.
Everything was leading me HERE.
So, for YOU, in all the planning and all the work you are doing…
DON’T FORGET TO LIVE.