Tuesday, April 13, 2010

That was Then - 2001

This is the next installment of That Was Then - the 2001 edition. This was a tricky year. It was a year of change. Looking back it was a year of firsts. It was the year I graduated from college and got my first REAL job. It was first time I travelled back to Europe since I left Portugal. It was my first big move after college where I moved to Huntington Beach and have lived for the last 9 yeas (can't believe I have been here that long). It was one of the first times I have looked at myself in pictures and not completely been ashamed of my past fashion choices. I think my bad "Bob" haircut of the late 90's taught me to try to choose a more simple look. Maybe someday I will post those pictures - just not sure if I brave enough. They are worse than pregnancy pictures. Trust me.

For instance - here I am in London, Summer 2001. I LOVED shopping there, especially at the Diesel store. And I am wearing a pair of Diesel jeans that until recently - I still had around. Not bad. :)

Now for the more serious segment - 2001 was the year my Mom passed away. It really was a first for our family. The first round of holidays, the first time I realized that she simply wasn't a phone call away. The first time I trusted that everything happens for a reason and the first time I really gave the term "eternal families" some serious thought. It was the first time that I realized that life doesn't end when you experience disappointment or grief, even though for a brief moment - I really really wished it would. And it was the first time that I realized that my Mom had given me all of the tools to survive. That I would be absolutely fine. I just had to keep on enjoying life. It was the first time that I realized I could really laugh and still be sad - that those two emotions could co-exist. It was the year that I came to cherish peace in my life.

Christmas 2001 - it was our first Christmas without our Mom - 1o of the 11 kids were able to make it home.

In a lot of ways - 2001 was the year that I felt like I became an adult, even though I was sadly 23 at the time. Most states consider people adults at 18, but I had found a way to escape that responsibility until that point. The truth is, I am glad for the things I learned in 2001 - they were some valuable lessons that sometimes take a lifetime to master.

I think about the little babies that I am growing - who at this point don't seem to be coming in the next few days and I can't blame them. They have their Grandma Brown (for those who don't know her, really is a fun time) and their sweet cousin Camille to entertain them - they are probably trying to maximize their time in heaven. I know if I was given the chance - I would too.

Right now - I am on the cusp of motherhood and I can't help but think of my Mom. In a lot of ways - 2010 will be our year of first time moments again. First time as a mother. First time staying up all night trying to feed, burp and diaper two babies. I hope I can channel some of her strength when I reach those - "Oh my gosh - I have 2 kids now" moments and remind myself that my Mom somehow raised 11 pretty good kids. Without a lot of the bells and whistles that I have outfitted myself with :)


Lynette said...

That was beautifully written. I loved your Mom and how fun she was. I just realized that my Mom died when I was 23.

I know that you will be a wonderful Mom just like your mother. Remember that you have great sisters you can call for advice.

I hope all goes well with the delivery of your beautiful babies.

Your Cousin
Lynette Burdick Mulleneaux

Ryan and Bethany said...

Your mother was amazing and you have inherited her genes. You will be a great mother, even when you don't feel like it.