March 12, 2020 ….. One of today’s words of the day is Inspiration.

Wow – I had an emotional reaction just reading the word. So many ideas flooded my mind – I thought of my mom, my husband, so many family members, my niece, my great-nephew and my nephew.

My great-nephew inspires me in childlike ways – he is 8 going on 30 and we spent some time together yesterday. For whatever reason, I have a gift with him – I am able to be present more with him than anyone else. Not sure what the psychology is around that but I just love to listen to him. Maybe because he is present? He, my niece (his mom) and I went to eat a picnic (to-go from DQ) and then feed the ducks. We had cans of corn to feed them.

We walked and talked and I taught him how to tell the difference between male and female mallards. We talked about ducks choosing mates and how the females could hide against the dirt in their nests. He found a stick and talked about how he was maneuvering his stick around the pond focusing on sliding it over the cracks in the sidewalk and making sure I saw. He wanted me to carry a stick too but I had corn in my hands. His mom was checking on a duck we saw stuck on the bridge over the pond. We thought the duck was hurt and he may have been stunned because when I walked over later, he flew into the water.

We sat down, watched the ducks and he showed me how he could measure the depth of the pond with the stick. We decided if for some reason we fell in we could just stand up. Then he showed me how he could make ripples in the water and how he could pull grass and grime from the side of the pond – I told him it was duck poop (yes, I told him the truth later when he asked). Poop is often a topic of our conversations and I don’t care – it’s our thing and I believe it helps take away the stigma to talk about it. He listened when I asked him if I could try something with the stick and I showed him how I could make circular ripples in the water in a different shape by turning the stick in circles. He thought that was cool.


Why is this inspiring? Well, my great nephew has anxiety. He often gets extremely scared and has over the top reactions to insects and bugs. This wasn’t always so. When he was little, his dad would take him to the park and pond and they would walk around and his dad would tell him all about what they were seeing. This was when dad worked evenings and stayed with him while his mom was at work/school. But that stopped when they bought a house. He started developing different anxieties and worrying about things a child should not have to worry about. He is particularly focused on flying insects and tornadoes. But, once he had a stick and ducks to talk about and someone who would listen, he was ok. He was in the moment and neither of us was worrying about anything.

Mallards Overview


Two years ago something inside of me shattered. This was a piece of me that resided in my very core. When it exploded, it cut every fiber of my being like shrapnel and sprayed outward …. to my family, my relationships, my life and my world. This was a part of me gone – a part of my foundation that was always nurturing, safe, loving, kind, happy, serene. That foundation being there was a constant I had my entire life; from my first breath and it was just gone. Two years ago on March 5th at 4p.m., my husband called me and I knew something was wrong. I knew it was bad. I said, “just say it Chris”. And then he said words that I will never forget. He said, “Becky, your mom died”. Those words are words that could never be taken back. They still take my breath away today. It reminds me of a friend who used to describe her life as before Aaron and after Aaron (her son). I didn’t understand it then but I understand it now. There is life with mom and after mom. There are family dynamics and feelings and thoughts and learning with mom and after mom. There is a me with mom and after mom. I don’t always like me after mom – I’m more emotional, sometimes quicker to anger. I am often tired and disconnected – some days I don’t know what to do because there is a piece missing – the piece that held it all together. In other ways, I can’t believe I have made it at all without her – you find out how strong you are when you have no other way to be. Sometimes I am more loving, more understanding, more giving. I want to make her proud; I want to represent her legacy in a positive way. I want to show her how her strong influence helped make me strong. But more than anything, I want her back. I love you mom. I think about you every day. I miss you every day. Thank you for who you were and who you helped me become.
Image: Deliberation by Mario Sanchez