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I forgot

by Amy on September 26, 2019

The last photo ever taken of my mama.

I was listening to an audiobook the other day.

It’s called The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs.

“One small spot,” the doctors said.

That’s how it all started.

It hasn’t been an easy read. I lost my mother to complications related to breast cancer.

It’s bringing up a lot of memories, long tucked away.

Like the time I helped her shave her head and we went to the wig shop to find her something comparable to that thick auburn head of hair.

But what really got me… And I haven’t finished the book yet, but I know she doesn’t make it.

…Is a conversation she writes about with her husband.

He tells her, “I can’t wait for things to go back to normal.”

And this crushes her because she knows that things might never go back to normal.

She has to look for the beautiful in each day, especially the hardest ones.

Oh My God.

I was on my way to Target to get some things for my daughter’s ninth birthday.

Occupied with to do’s. Filled with the familiar performance anxiety I get whenever I have to host a party, even a party for a bunch of eight and nine year olds…

And I lost it right there in the Target parking lot.

This part of the book reminded me of the days, there are many, when I forget to be grateful.

I forget to be grateful for the sound of my children’s voices and instead I get annoyed at the silly sounds they make when they’re happy.

I forget to be grateful for my health and instead I look in the mirror and wish for a slimmer set of thighs or hair that isn’t so grey around my face.

I forget to be grateful for the health of my children and instead I focus on dirty little handprints on the walls or toothpaste globs in the bathroom sink.

I forget to appreciate the blue sky or the white billowy clouds or the way the moon looks peaking out from my window and instead I focus on the accumulation of leaves around the driveway and how I’ll have to deal with that this weekend.

I forget to be grateful for being married to my best friend and instead I think about how he hasn’t picked up the phone all day and why isn’t he calling me back?

I forget to be grateful. Period.

For me, things are normal. No cancer. No death. No immediate tragedy.

I don’t have to wish for things to go back to normal.

Which is why I need to remind myself to be grateful. To look around me and fill myself up with all of it.

To remind myself of how desperately I would wish for it, if it were all taken away.

Death can teach us to remember what is precious.

But we don’t have to wait for it to notice the joy that was always there.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle Sedgwick September 26, 2019 at 2:37 pm

Thank you Amy for this post. I’m currently trying to practice this
mindset as well and I get hung up on all the same things!
We need to remember Everyday!!
I read Nina’s book and it is an important one- I wrote some of her
Sentences in my journal that I revisit from time to time- important reminders of how
precious life really is 🙂
Enjoying the demos
as well! Big love ❤️


Amy September 27, 2019 at 6:36 pm

Yay so glad you have been in on the demo calls. Yes I need to remind myself every day. It’s such a game-changer.


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