I wanted to reassure her, yet I reflexively looked to her to reassure me. For really, how are we supposed to be fearless when we are faced with the "mother" of all fears: losing someone we so deeply love?
My mother died 12 years ago, when I was 23, and I still miss her, every day. But this lesson of independence, more than any other, has given me the direction I needed to navigate my adulthood without her.
Every adventure I have, every picture I take, I wish I could share with my mom. Hearing her voice and that laugh -- so real, so hearty, so alive -- was like having her right there on the sofa with us, making me feel so happy, so sad.
I'm going to wear my pearls this Sunday in honor of my mom, whose name was Pearl. She was a true gem of a mom and a gem of a person. My world will be forever bright because of her. Her love will always shine with me, as will the memories.
It took years to finally bring my children to visit "Nana Janice." Maybe I was afraid to cry, afraid to feel too much in front of others. Maybe I was conflicted, feeling that my grief could be seen as disloyal to the mother who gave me a second chance.