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Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my mother's passing, and it was also my daughter's birthday. I didn't want my daughter's birthday to be overshadowed by sadness, so I refrained from any public acknowledgments until today.

I can't believe it's been a year since mom left us. Although we only found out about her illness about a month before she died, I saw her suffer with cancer in her last few weeks. I will never know how bad she felt before she decided to tell us that she was sick, because she continued in her everyday life as if nothing was wrong...she hid her health concerns from all of us. I'm only grateful that she no longer has to suffer and is now at peace. I still have my moments, but I find myself doing things to remind me of her, and it brings me a sense of peace for the time being. Sometimes, I catch myself saying stuff that she would say, and it brings me laughter. Nothing and no one could ever replace her, and I intend to live my life in a way that she would still be proud of if she was here. She instilled so many values in me throughout my life that it would be impossible for me to not live up to my full potential.

If I can just encourage one person reading this, I hope you live your life without regrets, fulfill your assignment with your time here on Earth, and do all the good you can to and for someone while you can. Learn to let grudges go, because that's only hurting you, not the person you are holding the grudge against. You can't drink poison and expect someone else to get sick...that's not the way it works and life is too short.

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