My brother posted the above shot of my mom a couple of weeks ago on Facebook. The word that immediately comes to mind when looking at the photo is golden. It’s not just her blond hair or the yellowy morning light surrounding her. It’s more than that. My mom is glowing. She has her cup of coffee, she’s being photographed by the man she loves, and one or more of her children is probably not too far out of the frame. To me, it looks like a snapshot of a lovely, golden life.
I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think my mom was too much older than me in this photo. I was likely a young child then. I’m almost certain that the back-then her and the current me are in similar life stages. Somewhere about the 15th or 16th time looking looking at the photo, I realized that we share more than just a life stage.
It’s that golden thing. I feel it, too.
I’ve had a rough year. I’ve been pretty open about that. And in some ways, I’m only now just beginning to feel deeply sad about the loss of my mom. I think for so long, I pushed my feelings back because my brain couldn’t handle taking care of a newborn and processing that loss at the same time. It’s finally catching up with me, and I’m ok with that.
But I’m also sort of insanely happy. This last year has certainly helped me appreciate my blessings: I get to share each day with the best man I know. I’m a mom to a beautiful baby girl. When I really think about it, I’m hit with a sense of awe that, holy shit, I have everything I’ve ever wanted. When the younger me used to dream about what my future life would look like, I dreamt of exactly this. A love, a family. I have somehow arrived exactly where I wanted to be, and now all that’s left to do is cherish, give thanks and enjoy.
Sure, there is still sickness and death and anxiety out there. There’s no avoiding those things, and I will take them as they come.
But right here, right now?
This is golden.