Enjoying my daily Ellen DeGeneres, I caught her with Gayle King who is releasing a book based on her “Note to Self” segment on the CBS morning show. I couldn’t help but reflect on my thirty-one years of life and all that has happened. Would I prepare myself for the present? Yes, but would I have changed anything…no.
Dear Jessica Lynn,
You’re probably playing dress up in your mom’s closet, rearranging/cleaning her room or helping her bake something delicious and I want you to savor every moment with her because they are easily taken for granted. Every time that she asks you to do something…do it. You can still roll your eyes like kids do to their parents, but still do it. If she tells you she’ll call your friends parents when you make plans she doesn’t believe…trust her, she’ll do it. She’s not above following your car, or randomly stopping by the place you say your staying. She isn’t afraid to call you out or let you fail but she loves sitting back and watching you shine. If you’ve already called her at work five times today, go ahead and make it six – she’ll say she’s going to lose her job but she loves it.
When she tells you she loves you always say it back. And don’t always wait for her to say it first. She’ll love hearing it randomly. You won’t always want to hang out with her but when you do it will mean the world to her, especially if you and your sisters don’t fight. There won’t be a ton of family vacations so make the ones you do go on together enjoyable…just for her. It doesn’t matter who sits up front in the vehicle, that has no bearing in life. You decide to go to college where she works because the thought of living far away from her is terrifying and it will be one of the best decisions you make. Unfortunately you get a bit distracted during college but distance will help you figure out your priorities and you’ll make up for any lost time with her BUT it will be under different circumstances…she’ll have cancer. And you won’t like the way it ends but you and her, and your family and friends rally around her in a way that is so beautiful you’ll forget her not beating it is even an option.
I hate to tell you this but you’ll become a mom with her watching from heaven. And it’s going to be really hard but you’re going to revisit all those times with her as if they were a blueprint for motherhood and it was a DAMN good one. And all those times I mentioned before and how you should treat her, you’re going to know exactly how she felt in those moments with you. And there will be times you wished you’d behaved differently, held on a little longer during that hug, chosen to stay in with her instead of going out with friends. Or joined her on one more run or shared another random dance in the living room. Because they’ll be a day when you won’t be able to make new memories with her, you’ll have to rely on all those feelings and strength to get you through. But the good news is you do and she is so proud. You’ll know because you can feel it…even from heaven.