Throughout my life, my mama taught me to laugh hard, to laugh often, and most importantly… to laugh at myself. She always encouraged me to pursue my passions, because at the end of the day, she knew the value of happiness.
Everyone who came in contact with her was drawn to her charismatic personality and infectious smile. Wherever she went laughter followed, often as the result of mischievous escapades. Some people go through life, and some people live life. Mama was the latter. She excelled at finding joy in the small things others often overlook.
You would have never have guessed from meeting her that she was dying. My entire life, doctors and even family members would reference this fact but I could never truly believe it. There were so many things she wasn’t supposed to be able to do and so many milestones she wasn’t supposed to reach. Things like having kids, riding horses, beating cancer, receiving a transplant kidney…(the list goes on and on) were never supposed to be part of her life. However, the doctors failed to account for the fact that my mother was an absolute force of nature.
Fifty-five years on Earth was not near enough time, but she definitely made sure to not waste one second of what she was given. Her greatest joy was found in raising her four children, and as her children, we knew every second of every single day how much she loved us. She constantly defied the odds and beat expectations. Her love of horses passed on to me, and some of my most treasured memories involve riding trails with her on our matching palominos. She defeated cancer. She literally set records for the lifespan of a transplanted kidney. Throughout all of this, she chose to spend her treasured time laughing when no one would have blamed her for crying.
On September 7, 2016 heaven gained one hell of an angel. As tempting as it is to wallow in the grief that at times seems insurmountable, I realize that the only way to truly honor her is to keep finding a way to laugh in the midst of the mess. With all this said, I dedicate “Laughable Mess” to my one-of-a-kind dear sweet mama, Annette, whose laugh I miss more than anything and for whose love I will be forever grateful.