05/25/2015 11:02 pm ET Updated May 25, 2016

Missing Mommy

Twenty-three years ago today my mommy died. Naturally, I have always spent this day in mourning. However, as I have grown up, the nature of my grief has transformed. For most of my childhood, I grieved my mom not only for the loss of her as a person, but also for my personal loss. Selfishly but childishly, it was all about me. What I was missing in my life as a consequence of her absence. I always used to think about who I would be had she been alive. Would I have been a better person? A better student? A better friend? The questions I asked myself were endless, and the answers were non-existent and unsatisfying. I was constantly searching to know her -- thinking that if I did I could better understand myself. When life's challenges presented themselves, I always looked to her and the impact that her not being there had on the situation.

As I have become the version of myself that I am today -- happy and proud to be the person that I am, the focus of my sadness has shifted. It is no longer about me, but rather it is about her. My grief is about her loss and what she is missing out on. This time last year I was distraught over the fact that I was about to get married and she wasn't going to be there. Poignantly, my dad has always said to my brothers and me that she's the one who lost, because she doesn't get to be a part of our lives. It was hard as a child to truly understand what he meant -- but now I get it -- she's missing out on all of the wonderful milestones and daily moments of bliss that she should have gotten to be a part of. I love my life and have such a wonderful husband, family, and extended family. It is with all this love and happiness that I feel the tragedy of her loss -- this is what life is all about and it was cut way too short for her.

She should be here. She should know me, my dad, my brothers, my husband, our future children, my brothers' wives and future children, etc. My husband and I are doing everything in our power to end Lynch Syndrome in our line of the family, but nothing we can do will bring her back. And -- 23 years later -- while the nature of my grief has changed, the root is and always will be the same. I miss my mommy and wish she could be here.