It was a rough night around here. Lots of tears and lots of self-doubt. This business of raising children is not an easy one and the worst thing about it is the constant nagging suspicion that I'm doing it wrong, that I'm passing on things that will make my daughter's life harder. Sometimes I feel entirely unequal to the enormous responsibility of raising this wonderful girl. How will I ever be able to send her off into the wide world, away from my protective arms?
And as I was kvetching about this on Facebook, I remembered a previous blog post I wrote in which I needled at the idea of re-inventing myself. One of the first comments on that blog post was from my late sister-in-law, Debbie, who said to me "I think you're a beautiful person. I don't know why you want to change yourself at all."
Oh, that made me feel so much better! It was so reassuring and so kind and so loving. Debbie thinks I'm a beautiful person! How wonderful!
So, I got to missing Debbie in the most selfish way because she was so good at making me feel better.
Debbie taught me so much about being a mother. Outside of my own mother, I have no greater influence in this fraught, wonderful, terrifying business. She was just so great at it!
Oh, Debbie! We miss you so much! I know your kids miss you desperately. But I also know they'll be OK: they were raised by a champion. They'll do just great.
I hope I can always remember the things her beautiful, short life brought to me - how freeing it is to forgive people and remind them that you love them. How much it means when you tell someone that you think she's a beautiful person.
Debbie was a beautiful person. And we were so lucky to have had her. The best honor I can do to her legacy is to remember what she brought to me; to do the best I can and to remember how much it means to tell someone you think they're beautiful.
Still, I feel so sad right now. I miss her.