My mom recently told my sister, “the world changes when you lose a parent.” A few short weeks later, we are feeling what she had described. I am learning that not only does your world change, but you are now confronted with learning about yourself in this new world- this “new normal.”
Even in this new normal, I still adore painting my nails. I love buying new Essie nail polishes. The punny names make me smirk and giggle. The physical act of painting my nails calms me. Then, I’m forced to sit still for a while as my nails dry. This obsession is something a few of my friends and I gush about, but it was also something that my mom understood. Even though the nail polish is expensive and I have more than I need, she understood the joy it brought me and was always happy to listen to my description and my own deeper meaning of each color and name.
Today’s color is from the Fall 2016 collection. It was randomly on sale at Target at the end of the season and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I HAD to get it. The name didn’t really resonate with me at the time, but the color – a light -ish blue – was too pretty to pass up. Now, twelve days after my mom has left this world, its name called to me… “Udon Know Me.”
It’s true! I don’t know “me” anymore. I am learning about myself in a whole new way these days. My mom was the person I would go to for all kinds of advice. Now, I am left to do most of this thinking on my own and through her intercession. Her voice and presence are no longer physically here to guide me and it’s pretty awful. But, I know she would tell me as she always did, “Be gentle with yourself. This is all still new and it’s going to take time.”
This nail polish is a reminder to myself that I don’t know myself right now and that’s okay. It reminds me that people are going to continue to be understanding as I navigate these uncharted waters of motherless life. It reminds me to continue to listen to myself – my body, my emotions, my needs. It reminds me to focus on the dreams and goals I truly want to pursue. It reminds me to continue her legacy of love – love of others and love of oneself.
And just for good measure (to “measure in love,” if you will), I added a party nail.
My mom loved a good party and it is the most wonderful time of the year. I am so grateful my mom was with us for the start of this season. I know she would want us to enjoy it. This sparkley nail is so appropriately named “Hor’s D’oeuvres.” Mom would start every gathering – whether it was just her and I, our whole family, or a house full of friends – with crudités. Her hor’s d’oeuvres were always raw and healthy, and always the first thing on the table. Sitting around food and talking, spending time with her loved ones, was her priority each day.
In her absence, I find peace in continuing my journey to be the best version of myself to the glory of God. I know she believed she was here to help me with it, and I know she will guide me still.
For the moment, I am growing into adulthood.