Everything is particles in motion, but some assembly is required.
For me, it all started with a far-too-young high school dropout living in the poorest part of town: my mother. My story began with her. She’s in the picture above, a beautiful young woman of merely nineteen holding me just days after I was born.
That she had no small part in putting the atoms that make “me” together is reason enough to thank her, but she’s never stopped taking an active role in defining who I am. She rose from poverty to get her GED and eventually a Master’s in Higher Education. She fought off an abusive husband and reformed our family with a new man, a kind and loving man, who gave me the consistency and security I should have had in my earliest years. Her fortitude and compassion are seemingly without limits, and in my darkest despair and greatest defeats she loved me yet. Now, as I try to begin my own life anew as she did long ago, she stands with me and believes that I, too, can overcome my challenges and find the brighter homeland of my dreams.
My mother’s single greatest gift to me is this idea: We are life motion. Each of us controls how we react to the world and what we do to contribute to it. No, we can’t make good things happen with positivity or stop tragedies with wishful thinking, but we are fully free to choose love over anger, compassion over apathy. Individually and as a species, we’re mapping our destiny with the choices we make. We sink or swim together. My hope is that when my life ends, I’ve left a bit more love and a mote more understanding than was here when I arrived.
Mom, I treasure your presence in my life and, now, in River’s life too. Happy Mother’s Day, I love you.