I turned 37 years old the other day.
Although this was only my second birthday without my mom here, anyone who has experienced Alzheimer’s firsthand knows that I’ve been celebrating it without her for a long, long time.
It would have been so easy to deduce myself to a puddle of tears all day long, but there was something about this particular birthday that made me stop and think.
I am finally the age my mom was when she had me.
That means that my mom lived for 37 years without me in her life.
She lived a whole entire life before I ever came along.
And then she lived another whole entire life after that.
Something about that made me realize that I still have a whole entire life left to live.
I was fortunate enough to have my mom for the first 35 years of my life and although the last ten of those years were with Alzheimer’s by our side, I still showed up. I was still very much a part of her life.
Now it’s my turn to live a whole entire life without her.
It may never be as good as the life I lived with her, but it will be equally as beautiful and meaningful.
I will still show up.
I will still very much be a part of my own life.
Because if my mom lived a whole entire life without me, then I know she would want me to do the same.
She is not gone.
She is watching over my shoulder every day.
And I plan to make it a life worth watching.
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**If you liked this post, you would love my book “When Only Love Remains: Surviving My Mom’s Battle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.” It’s available on all Amazon marketplaces.