You know, today I choose to be love. Not that I’m not on other days…but let me explain.
The Southwest fight that just went down had many scared passengers on it, oxygen masks to face and due to an amazing (yes, female!) pilot and her crew, they landed safely.
But one passenger, a mother of 2, a loving wife, philanthropist and leader in her work, Jennifer Riordan, was sucked out of a broken window and didn’t make it. She died in the hospital after the emergency landing due to complications.
It’s heart breaking and terrifying.
I tried to imagine her feelings while attempting to go home to her loves…her husband, her two kids, after being away and yearning for their smiles and hugs.
Yearning for the snots on her shoulder, the neck nuzzles of her little one, the laughter over a silly voice, her husband’s hand in hers…that she won’t feel anymore.
I tried to imagine her kids without their mother, her husband’s emptiness. I just can’t.
I just can’t.
You know, the other day my husband and I had a fight…over something trivial, that I was able to communicate to him.
There are times my husband and I both wake up and go on with our day, the coffee pot brewing, prepping the day’s lunch boxes, my mind focused on tasks at hand, his mind in his email inbox already. I don’t even know if we’ve hugged or kissed as we get going some days.
It takes 5 seconds to be love.
To stop and kiss him, say I love you no matter what.
It takes no effort to hug your kids extra long every time you say good-bye.
It means everything when it comes down to it.
Shraddha recently wrote a beautiful piece about the ways her mother is love.
There is no real definition to this. We are love as mothers the minute we birth those sweet and sometimes not so sweet beings we call our children.
I want to embody this indescribable mommy love in every second. I know I am human. I’m not perfect. There are moments I may lose my cool as the kids tackle one another on the couch and as I try to break up their fight, the rice for dinner gets burned.
I may forget my daughter’s request for those highlighters she asked me to pick up the other day, making her wait just one more day, sending her into a tirade of emotion.
But each day, each moment, I will try to find ways to tell them, ways to show them, ways so they know they are so loved, they can go out into the world and never feel or wonder how much…
I’ve been reading that this mother, Jennifer Riordan, was such a mother. She poured love into her family and the world around her and this is what people remember of her. I hope to honor here by sharing this.
That the reminder is anything can change any day for any of us and that should be enough to smell the sweet gratitude of this life’s garden. That if you were always sweating the small stuff that’s not what you want to be remembered by.
My husband and I once talked about legacy…what we want to leave our children.
We spoke of big goals: his business and vision, my book and philanthropic work.
But for today, I want to remind myself of the biggest legacy I can ever give them is right here…present even in the moments that feel tough. Something that this mother who tragically lost her life was remembered for more than anything else.
You see, we can always feel love. But it’s a true choice to put it into our actions, words, being, presence when the world crumbles around us. When we feel misunderstood by our partners. When work becomes tough to juggle with the kids.
While we can’t control everything, life is full of choices.
And the easiest choice I’ve ever made is to be the most natural state I am accustomed to.
The pure love that split open wide and raw when my husband and I started this little family of ours. This pure love that resides in me, boundless and full. I want to embrace it…even in the ugly.
And in the end, hopefully that will be my legacy.