My amazing Mother passed away on April 14, Good Friday. She leaves a void that will never be filled and a lifetime of memories to comfort us as our family adjusts to a life without her.
My Mom was a complex woman, shaped by life’s joyful and sometimes cruel turns. Fueled by an impoverished upbringing, she worked hard, along with my Dad, to build a better life for our family. Sacrifices were made, including multiple moves over the years to find work, but Mom made every new place our home.
I remember her apologizing that there was no money when we were kids. I told her I never felt we were poor. I have great memories of my childhood due in large part to her “Super Mom” status. She seemed to take some comfort in that.
I could write a novel in tribute to Mom. She gave so much to me while she was alive, but I believe her greatest gift to me has come from her passing. You see, Mom was like all of us in that our life experiences are stored like mini movies in our mind. If the movies are bad, they make us fearful, resentful and judgemental. The good movies make us humble, loving and brave.
Mom wanted my brother and me to be successful and that meant not taking risks. My awesome brother refused to be bound by Mom’s fears and has taken all kinds of risks. He continues to be my inspiration. I, on the other hand, could physically feel the weight of Mom’s disapproval when I was courageous enough to rock the boat so I was more inclined to fall in line.
My Mom was thrilled when I got a job with the public service. “Set for life,” is what she’d say. I have happily given 20 years of my life to the public service at the local and provincial level. I have had an exciting and fulfilling career. So you can imagine my Mom’s apprehension when I announced I was setting up my business, Brave Birds Studio.
“You’re going to get in trouble!” “Why would you do that?” “You have a good job, why would you give that up?” Some of her worries were shared with me. More was shared with my Dad. I was fearful too! My original plan was to set up the business and gradually transition away from government over the next two years.
Mom’s passing changed everything. My Mom believed in God. She embraced her faith and it gave her peace in the end. I believe there is life beyond this world in which you become free of fear and judgement. You experience everything your loved ones are feeling through the lens of love.
Despite my grief I am filled with a calmness and confidence that I have made the right decision to leave my position in government and focus on Brave Birds full-time. My last day in my government office will be October 31, 2017. I believe my Mom now knows the joy I experience helping others grow professionally because she is free of fear now and there is only love.