Adventure Abroad Awaits

"Momma Rhonda"

Moms are blessings. They are angels who have to deal with the worst while raising them to be their best. Sometimes, we don’t realize how much they’ve done for us until they’re gone.

Those of you who know me already know my story, but I’ll share it with those who aren’t aware yet. On October 23, 2013, my mom was unexpectedly taken from us. She suffered a pulmonary embolism – a blood clot in her lungs – and her heart couldn’t handle it. She collapsed just before midnight the night before and passed away by 0800 that morning. To say it was a shock is a severe understatement. Nobody saw this coming, so it shook family members and friends alike – and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through in my life.

My mom was far from perfect. She enjoyed her comfort zone and didn’t like to try new things. She could be quick to anger, and she had a habit of spending money on nonessential items. However, there were things about her that made her a great friend and mom. She was known as “Momma Rhonda” to many because she loved opening her home to kids and teens in need. She had a big heart and could make you laugh at the most random things.  And her obsession for all things Disney was contagious. The thing she was most passionate about was her kids. She would have done anything for us – things that we didn’t even know about – and she would willingly take down anybody who was causing her children pain in any way. She loved us so much.

I can’t speak to my family members’ grief – because everybody’s grief is different – but I was relatively close with my mom, so her death has hit me pretty hard. The hardest part of losing my mom isn’t the moments we shared. It’s all the future memories she’ll never be apart of. She didn’t get to see my beautiful sister marry the man she loves or graduate from college. She hasn’t gotten to see the wonderful man my little brother has become, and she won’t be there to see him graduate high school. She never got to be jealous of me living and working at DisneyWorld, and I can’t share my first teaching experiences with her. She’ll never get to meet any of her future grandkids.

The hardest days every year are always her birthday, the anniversary of her death, and Mother’s Day. With social media these days, it’s even harder. I see all these pictures of my friends with their moms, and I wish I could have just one more day with her – one more chance to tell her that I love her. It’s been four and a half years, and I still miss her every day. I always will.

This Mother’s Day is different somehow. Honestly, I think it’s because I’m in South Korea. Usually, I’m home surrounded by family and pets. These things remind me of her love and the memories we’ve shared, the memories I miss. But nothing in Korea reminds me of her. My family isn’t here, and I’m surrounded by friends who have never met her. For some reason, that brings me some small semblance of peace. I’ve been struggling with my grief since she passed away. I don’t want it to sound insensitive, but it’s easier to move on if I’m not constantly being reminded of her. That’s not to say I don’t miss her. I will always love and miss her, and I still wish she could be here. This process is just making it easier for me to accept her being gone.

So now I leave you with a montage of pictures and a reminder: cherish the moments you have with your loved ones. You never know when those moments will become only memories.

Who needs superheroes when we have moms?

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