Feathers 🦚 Hearts 💗 and Mother's Day 👩

May 10, 2019

Every year, this particular week is always a difficult one for me.  It's the week leading up to Mother's Day.  (I promise there will be celebration in this post also!)  🎉

If you don't know the story, I lost my mom over 18 years ago.  I was only 26 at the time and she was a very young 63 years old.  My mom Faye, was a wonderful, loving, and stubborn woman!  And I am so grateful that she was a stubborn as she was.  

Because of that, I got an extra 20 years with her.  Let me explain...

When I was 5 years old, she was diagnosed with cancer.  Specifically, Hodgkin's Disease.  Which apparently was one of the "good ones" because it had a pretty good remission rate back then.  Now we are talking almost 40 years ago, so technology and medicine were not what they are today.  (And yes, we still have a LONG way to go in terms of cancer prevention and treatment).

By the time I was 6 years old, she had gone through months of chemotherapy and she wasn't getting better.  In fact, she was getting worse.  I don't remember the moment they sat my older brothers and sisters down, along with me, and tried to prepare us for the worst.  

My sister told me years later that what our parents had told us at that time was that Mom may have to go "home" to be with Jesus soon.  

I mean, what the heck do you tell your kids if you think you're going to die soon?  

My mind can't wrap around that.  And I know my parents were truly trying to prepare us for all scenarios, in the best way they possibly could.  For that, I am very grateful.

Again, I am also grateful for how damn stubborn my Mom was.  LOL.  I've been told stories my entire life how my Mom SWORE that she would see all of her kids grow up.  She refused to go down quietly.  She refused to give up.  Even when she was so sick from chemo treatments twice a week, vomiting, unable to eat, losing weight, and losing her hair.

The crazy part is, I never felt like she wasn't there to support me.  Even if it was Christmas Day and she felt like death, she was on the couch under a blanket, watching us open our Christmas presents, with a smile on her face.  (I have NO idea how my parents could afford actual presents for us.  And yet somehow they did.  Truly amazing.)

Fast forward:

Ultimately my Mom went though a total of 4 1/2 years of chemotherapy and radiation.  She suffered so much because she wanted to see all of us kids grow up.  I am the youngest of her five kids, and I swear through sheer grit and thousands of prayers, she kept her commitment.  

Yes, I was still young at 26 years old to lose my mom.  And yes, I miss her every single f-ing day, especially during weeks like this.

However, I am so grateful to her for her spirit and fight oh so many years ago.

Because I got an extra 20 YEARS with her!!!  

All the doctors said it was impossible.  Ha!  They obviously didn't understand how truly stubborn my Mom was! ✨

Why do I share this with you?  It's not exactly the most uplifting "Mother's Day" story, is it?  Well, I think it is.  

Because I think it is a very real reminder that we should be celebrating each other.  You.  Me.  Every single day.  And especially on this weekend.

So today, I celebrate ALL amazing and strong WOMEN!  

Whether you are "officially" a mom of the human two-legged kind or a mom of the fur-baby types.  Or whether you're an aunt, a sister, a cousin, a daughter, or a wife!  You have been through your own trials, fires, losses, and difficult times.  Maybe you are in one of those seasons of your life right now.

Whatever you've gone through, look how you have risen.  Whatever you're going through now, know you will rise again.

My Mom will always be an inspiration to me.  She is with me every single day.  She visits me in my dreams.  She whispers in my memories, words of strength and encouragement.  She sends me messages in the forms of Feathers and Hearts. 🦚💗

When I see a feather on the ground, blowing gently to get my attention... or in a heart shape "randomly" in nature, in a rock, on a tree or leaf, in pool of water, or in the light of a photo... I know it is her.  

My Mom, Faye Love Reynolds.  
Showing up to tell me:  "JUST. KEEP. GOING."

And yes her maiden name really was Love, which is why she shows up in the form of not just feathers, but also hearts... ❤️

Just look at this photo I took a couple of months ago:

That's her way of showing up and telling me that she is still here...  as my unseen angel.  Still encouraging me to keep going.  That no matter what is in my path, I have the ability to just breathe and be grateful and never give up.  

Just keep going.  
Have Faith.  
God is always with you.  
As am I. 

So this beautiful Mother's Day weekend, let's really celebrate and do that by celebrating ALL of the amazing women that you have in your life!!!  Whether it's your mom, your aunt, a mentor, or a friend who is chosen family.  And don't forget to include YOURSELF!

So.... do something special!

Specifically, do something special for another woman who has inspired you, loved you, believed in you, supported you.  Spread the love and express gratitude to the amazing women surrounding and supporting you.  Just say thank you, or I love you, or I appreciate you.  

One of my something specials this weekend is saying how much I appreciate you.  Truly.  Deeply.  I appreciate your support, near and far.  And I honor you as you are continually raising the bar on how you show up in life, for yourself, and for all those you love. 💛

Another something special I'd like to do is take just a minute in this week's blog to give a shout-out to three amazing and special "mom-like" women in my life.  (Who watch my videos, and read my emails, and tell me I'm special and loved, and cheer me on from their corners of the world).

My aunt: Jean aka "Babe"
My bonus mom: Nijole
My chosen sister: Christina

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for your love over so many years and especially your support in recent months with the loss of my Dad.  You have been my rocks and I don't know how I would have done it all without you.  ❤️

I am very blessed that I didn't get just one Mom who loved me and believed in me.  God gave me each of you as well.  I must have done something right to be so loved by such magnificent and magical women.  Thank you with all of my heart.

So, now it's YOUR turn!

Who do you want to thank?  Who do you need to tell how much you appreciate them this weekend?  

Even if it's a woman who has already made their transition from this world to the next like my Mom, you can still express gratitude and love in your own way.  They are there, cheering you on and sending you love right back, from wherever they are!

So again, this beautiful Mother's Day weekend, let's celebrate all of the amazing women that you have in your life.  Including YOU.

You have magic in you that you've yet to discover.  
I believe in you.

And finally... Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful Mom in heaven.  I love you and I miss you.  Thank you for believing me.  I pray every day that I make you proud.

Thank you for letting me share such a personal story and love letter with you today.

Have a truly blessed Mother's Day weekend!

With gratitude and so much love,
Brenda 💛


Brenda F Reynolds
Founder & Owner
The F Words of Life

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