When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?
When I think back on being younger most of it is a blur. Whether I it’s because I slept away the years or because it just simply faded, I rarely remember a lot of memories. But there is one thing I’ll never forget, even when I think back on my five year old self, my hero. There was always that one person in my life that made everything make sense. When I needed a shoulder to cry on they were always there and held my hand when I needed it.
Over the course of my life my five year old self hero just became stronger. Everything she did I wanted to be there. I can remember, (this wasn’t at five more like fifteen) that she’d go to work and I’d literally go with her. Many days sitting around her place of employment just to spend time with her. The days I decided to stay home we’d call each other throughout the day.
At fifteen I lost my hero. We buried the only person in my life, at the time, that meant more to me than anything else. I placed her in the ground, exactly like she wanted to be. We left her in the ground nearly six hours away from where I live today and I let go of my hero & best friend.
Today I have often wondered if we would have had the normal “mother/daughter” fights that people go through. If her and I would have stayed close or I would have decided that we were too close and begin backing off. I have often wondered if her and I would still be talking, like we did then, and spend as much time together. Would I still think so high of her and her thoughts on how I should live my life, or would I think she butts in too much and start backing away?
I try and live my life the way she always wanted. Yes, I have had my stray moments. (Dropping out of high school. Not going to college until I was 23 years old & then flunking out of my fourth semester because I was overwhelmed. An emotional breakdown before I was 30.) I am pretty sure that I am nowhere near what she always wanted for me by the age of twenty-six. I’m working on that.
But there are small things. Tiny things she always put in my head that I have chosen to live life by. Mostly, treat people the way I want to be treated, (yes, my mother was more religious than me). But that is by far one of the best things to ever teach your child while raising them. Never settle in life for the smaller things. Always touch stars rather than a light bulb just because it’s easier. (I think she is half the reason I’m still single. I don’t want to ‘settle’. I want love & everything, or nothing at all.)
My hero wanted the best for me. Wanted to give me everything the world would let me have. But I wonder sometimes if some of the choices I’ve made in my life if she’d be disappointed. Is she looking down on me thinking how off track I’ve gotten. The day I got my first tattoo – did she shake her head? The day I got my second tattoo – did she sigh? The day I declared a life of loneliness, rather than settling for just anything – did she mutter cuss words? When I flunked out of college – was she disappointed?
I guess sometimes you just have to live life without knowing everything. For me, this is the one thing that I’ll never know. But I will live my life the way she wanted even with the days I decide to trip up a little and have to regain my footing. I know that I will have her on my side, even if she isn’t here with me physically. For me, that’s enough to keep going.