Inside the Gift of Goodbye: Highlights from Chapter 2 Invincible Me

Chapter two paints a picture of how my mom influenced me growing up and as a young adult. She indulged my every whim, including making seven formal dresses for me my junior year in high school, dresses I designed. I went to college to focus on accounting and become a lawyer, something my father encouraged me to do. After I struggled through my first accounting class, I discovered a new major, more suited for my interests, marketing. I was a daddy’s girl growing up and had not invested time in building a relationship with my mother, although I felt invincible as a result of my mother’s belief in me.

“I took to heart Mom’s positive belief in my capabilities as I became a young woman. I was confident that I could succeed at anything I wanted to, if only I tried. Add my strong will and stubbornness to that confidence in my own success, and there I was.”

Following college graduation and several years working in a field that found me, not related to my major, I moved back to Austin to be closer to my parents. And as I pivoted my career into the healthcare field, I felt on top of the world, in control of my destiny, although my future was a little uncertain. As a young adult, I was determined to be independent and rarely called on my parents for help, even though we lived in the same town. I went on a snow skiing trip with friends for New Years, and quickly learned I was not invincible. On the bumpiest ski run at Breckenridge, I fell and tore my ACL and meniscus in my left knee. I flew home in a knee brace, headed for surgery. Mom dropped me off for the outpatient procedure that turned into hospitalization. Regardless of how independent I pretended to be, I was in a great deal of pain and what I wanted my mommy, to comfort me. And she showed up, without being asked.

“In those few days, I experienced the most selfless kind of love I had ever felt. Mom stayed with me in my hospital room day in and day out, sleeping in a foldout chair all four nights…it was at this time in the hospital, receiving mom’s help and attention to my every need, that I was first able to feel mom’s deep love in my heart.”