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Mami has been gone for three years now. And every day, at least once a day, I am reminded of something she said, some lesson she passed on.


Who's Your Family?

The biggest lessons were from that last year. Where we spoke of family and friends and the definition of each. The fact that Mami had learned (perhaps the hard way) that just because someone calls themselves family doesn't tie you to obligations.


"I will do for those that do for me." And though she gave with all her might to all those who she felt needed it, this wasn't a selfish lesson she was trying to teach me. It was a reminder to look deeper into a person's heart. That all is well when you give but that sometimes, as in that last 10 months of her life, we realize who is really ready to stand with you through it all. Who remains loyal, not just in passing but through the passing of storms.


Those are the people you call family.


Ask for Help

I think Mami held a lot in for a long time. Pain and hurt. Depression. Especially when she got sick. She dealt with it quietly and stoically. But in her outright refusal to crack, to shed a tear, to bend, I learned to ask for help because sometimes, that makes things easier and brings the healing on a bit quicker. For ourselves and for others.


In The End, It's Love

Love carries you through it all. Though she is gone, my love has not diminished. And in the rustle of the wind I feel her love as well. Through stress and busyness, fights, disagreements and everything in between including death: love conquers all.


Haven't we read that somewhere? And sometimes we wonder how or if it's true. Mami taught me that certainly it is love. But you have to be willing to stand up for it, shout it out and work day in and day out for it. Love conquers all as long as you do not give up.


And that lesson has gotten me through many a day.

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