“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.” ~Mitch Album
It is Mother’s Day. As I shared breakfast with the most special mothers in my life – my mom, my mother in law, and my sister – the magnitude of their reach wasn’t lost on me. I am my mother’s story. My boys are becoming my story. We are all living through each other every single day.
When I gave birth to Cole when I was twenty four years old, he opened my heart to the world. He inspired me to be my best. He brought all of my dreams to the surface. Everything I have ever wanted to be, I have the courage to pursue because I am his mom. My children our my strength.
As Mother’s Day comes to a sleepy end, I’m writing in an old sketch book my packing list: Packing for Peru. I leave on Tuesday heading to Peru to attend a medical mission with Operation Smile. I can remember the moment this became my dream. I remember sitting next to my mom on an airplane nearly fifteen years ago and reading an article about a group of young adults who carried medical supplies into Cuba to provide relief. I know the moment this dream bubbled to the surface, but I also know this dream has always been a part of me. Perhaps this is my mother’s dream too.
When I stare at Cole and Chet while they sleep, I wonder what they will do with their lives. Will they travel the world? Will the work to find a cure for an incurable disease? Will they transform the world into a peaceful place? I realize now that I see my dreams in them. Does my mom see her dreams in me too?
When I get on that plane on Tuesday I am carrying their hearts with me. I’m carrying my dreams, but I’m doing it for them. I want both generations to know that I’m grateful that I’m the one who gets to do this. Over eight days I have the privilege of helping execute a medical mission, and if that isn’t enough, I get to put a backpack on my back and wander for days after to fill myself back up. I get to hike Machu Picchu mountain. I get to sleep in the Sacred Valley. I get to wander down cobble stone streets. This gets to be part of my story.
“I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.” ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
I’ll be back in exactly two weeks richer, more vivid, fuller than before. Another chapter of my story will be written for my boys, my mom and me.