On my drive to work this morning I was thinking about why being the next #Mamavation Mom is going to make a difference in the lives of my children. Of course, the standard thoughts came first. A healthy mom can be more active with her kids, right? It became clear that the old saying, “when you have your health, you have everything” is true. I am three weeks into this new year of age 30 and I am feeling stronger than I have in months.
My mind began wandering to a time much different in my life – back when I hit a turning point. It was February 2005. My 14-year-old sister, Ashley, was fading fast from a serious heart condition she had been plagued with since birth. That girl was wise beyond her years and had come to be my sounding board and reality check when I started to take things for granted. She had this way of never quitting, never giving up, never complaining. If I could be one-fraction of one-percent more like that child – I would be a much better person.
It was Valentine’s Day weekend and I had just found out I was pregnant with baby #2. I was at my dad and (step-mom) Ava’s home for Ashley’s baptism, and I remember crawling on the edge of Ashley’s bed as we waited for others to arrive for her special day. As she lay still, trying not to exert too much energy, I saw a flash of what had to have been pain sweep through her eyes. Trying to change the subject – I asked her what she wanted this baby to be, “a boy or a girl.” She flashed me a smile, and said, “Alyssa, I only want a girl this time.”
My little sister died one week later on February 20, 2005, a few minutes after midnight. My daughter, Kennedy was born in September of 2005. If fate had anything to do with it, I know that is why she is a girl. Shortly after her birth, I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation. There came a point during these days, I thought my parents may have a small meltdown. However, as a family we made it through.
After witnessing my parents go through losing a child, it became so very real to me that there is no greater love on this earth than the love we have for our children. My three children are my legacy.
My daughter Kennedy and I have a very special bond. I know at times Ashley lives in her. Kennedy helped me get through a very tough time in my life. It was the passing of my sister that created a change in me. I began to give more of my time and talent to serving others. I realized that life is too short to not make the most of every second of every day. That was the lesson I learned from a 14-year-old girl.
I was reminded of that powerful lesson this morning. Now, it’s my time. I am ready to become the next Mamavation Mom. Let’s do this…together.