Growing up in a faith-based household, we were exposed to a constant truths and lessons about how to treat others and how to grow our faith. But, none was more important in our household than the creed to speak life and not “death” over our lives. You see, my mother battled multiple sclerosis since before my sister and I were born, and the disease, by nature, was a degenerative disease meaning that as we and she grew older, her MS would no doubtedly get worse.
Being positive and being kind to others were two things that my mother did very well. She was always volunteering when she could, trying to make others smile when she was crying on the inside, and holding steady to her faith in God. Even as her disease took her from our apartment to a nursing home, her overall attitude remained right of positive. During the course of her last two years with us, she was unable to move any limb except for her left arm, and was unable to eat or speak. Still, there was this aura about her. She never lost her ability to smile with her eyes or with her lips.
After she passed away, it was very easy for us to miss her. Why wouldn’t we? She brought light into every situation and her positivity was infectious! I decided at that point, that no matter what life threw at me, I would do everything in my power to live a positive existence. There’s no doubt in my mind that her attitude and faith were responsible for the extended time that she had on this Earth. Twice before, when I was 9 and two years before she passed, we were told that she had days, maybe a week, left to live. But, we never gave up and neither did she. That is the power of a positive existence.
After her passing, I re-evaluated my life to determine what exactly it was that I wanted to do. My mother was 49 years old when she passed, and her mother was 36 years old when she passed away. God forbid that I only had 11 years or 24 years left to live...How would I want to spend those years? During my year-long corporate sabbatical, I spent time volunteering, writing, helping others with business plans, launching my own blog, starting a nationwide HIV/AIDS awareness initiative, and pursuing a new career path in public relations.
Today, this last day in January, I’m sitting here taking inventory of what a positive existence has brought to my life. And, it’s amazing and moving to think about. My blog, The Fabulous Giver, is enjoyed by actual readers (who I don’t know), the Red Pump Project has grown to the Red Project Collective, and tomorrow I start a full-time position with a top Public Relations firm after spending four months as an intern.
My positivity and faith have been rewarded in a way that can’t be described. I’m not saying that I’m always happy, but when I start feeling down, I remember that tomorrow is a new day and I remember my mother’s smile. Her positive existence directly influences my positive existence. What could a little positivity bring to your life? Think about it and always find a reason to smile and to believe. Trust me, it goes a long way.
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