"Mom did not have a glamorous life for sure, anything but; she had a very challenging life. But she always rose to those challenges. And that drive and determination was instilled in me by her. It's funny how life is, generally we want all we can for our children, it's a given. But there was I, wanting more for my mother."
I always enjoy remembering my mother, as she often wanders into my thoughts. Sometimes I laugh uncontrollably while driving to work while reminiscing about trying to teach her how to play scrabble. Sometimes I ache for her presence; sometimes I am so damn grateful for her strength. I cry sad tears, happy tears or just tears.
She is not the one who sparked my love for travel, the best we had was a road trip to the nearest lake, and just for the afternoon. We did talk about travel late in her life; she had dreams she never fulfilled, but she never complained. Her face glowed and her smile widened as she told me about how one of her boyfriends had a motorcycle and how much she loved to ride. Who'd of thought?
Mom did not have a glamorous life for sure, anything but; she had a very challenging life. But she always rose to those challenges. And that drive and determination was instilled in me by her. It's funny how life is, generally we want all we can for our children, it's a given. But there was I, wanting more for my mother. That glow in her eyes and heart was always there while in the presence of her grandchildren. She lived for them. The fun they had together!
One moment with my mother is one I will never forget. I was about to leave for Afghanistan. I had my elderly mom come to my house for a "sleep over". That night I had to tell her the whole story of where I was going and why. She looked me straight in the eye and said "you don't have to do this". It ripped my heart out, not because I knew she was right. It was because I KNEW she was right. But I did have to do this, for me. I felt selfish, I felt guilty. I felt scared. Most of all, I felt more determined than ever. That look on her face, those words she said, kept me strong. I now knew I could not, would not, let her down.
I truly believe she was, and is, my guardian angel. I have "survived" so much since that night we spoke. Sometimes I wondered why? Fact is, she is the reason I have experienced the adventures of travel I have. I also believe my daughters have both grandma’s strength and my sense of adventure to fulfill their travel dreams!
Gail Latouche is a Corrections Manager at Stony Mountain Penitentiary in Manitoba, Canada. You can get in touch with her at email@example.com
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