Growing up..

I have failed at posting every day. I am trying!

So for today’s issue on things that made me grow up I am going back to high school.

Throughout most of my childhood my mom took care of my “aunt” Billie. She was in her 50s when I was born and lived across the hall from my parents at the apartment complex. I used to go and spend every Friday night with her. We’d go to the store and she would buy me notebooks where I would draw and write for hours on end. We spent so many nights watching Full House and Family Matters on TGIF. We always watched Beauty Pageants where she would let me dress up and I would play pretend. She was a huge part of my life. So many things that she did for us I won’t go into – but she was an amazing woman. One without a family, one who adopted us as our own.

When I was in eighth grade she had a stroke. She continued to live by herself and my mom would go over there frequently to take care of her. It finally reached a point the summer after my freshman year that she could no longer live on her own. So she moved in with us.

Life for the next year and a half was incredibly difficult. Since her stroke and my mom having to take care of her we no longer had the ability to take any kind of family vacation. Our idea of vacation was taking a road trip for a night and going camping or driving around looking for the most random landmarks. (Did you know the world’s smallest Catholic Church is in Texas? It is crazy small!)

Up until the day she died she always wanted my mom to be the one to take care of her. This put a lot of stress on my mom. I watched as my mom lost sleep and sacrificed a lot for this woman.

So how exactly did this make me grow up?

When I started driving I started playing “mom” to my brother. I took him to school and picked him up. I drove him to whatever friends house he wanted to go to. I had to step up and doing the things my mom couldn’t.

Watching what my mother went through made me grow up. It was a difficult time for our family in general.

When Aunt Billie died the summer before my junior year it brought an incredible amount of sadness and a sense of relief.

I have watched my mom since that point deal with so much – the emotions, the sacrifices, and a million other things.

It wasn’t until I became a mom that I really began to understand and truly appreciate what an amazing heart my mom has.

I am so incredibly blessed to have her as my mom and as my best friend.

She has been a huge help since Hailie was born. She was there the day I fell apart and needed to get away when my PPD reached it’s peak. She kept Hailie so I could study for my tests. She watched her while I worked so I didn’t have to put her in daycare. She keeps her while I go to school.

I love you Mom. Thank you for teaching me what it means to be a great mom. I can only hope that I can even be half the mom you have been to us. (Said as tears are streaming down my cheeks..)