The Difference Between Moving On and Moving Forward

I shot awake during the wee hours of the morning on Thursday, finding myself in a total panic—tears streaming down my face, my heart aching in pain yet racing as though I’d just seen a ghost.

My mom was alive.

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We All Wake Up Depressed Some Days: Here’s What Inspired Me to Push Forward

“Sometimes the greatest picture a photographer takes is when he turns around and captures what’s behind him.”

A talented artist named Blue Fier—yes, that’s Blue as in the color, and Fier as in fire, and his name is just one of the many things that make him truly unforgettable—explained this to me last year, about two hours after he’d taken one of the most stunning photos I’d ever seen of Pier 5 in the San Francisco Bay.

The wood panels lined up horizontally, perfectly in place as the fog caused the streetlights to take on star-like figures with a sheet of royal blue providing an immaculate backdrop. To be honest, it’s something we’ve probably ogled over before (no offense, Blue), and yet it still managed to catch me off guard, taking my breath away for a split second as I fell onto that path of illuminated blues and golds.

Then I realized: It wasn’t just the photo. It was the story behind it.

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My Mom Died 7 Years Ago: The Truth About Why I Stopped Trying to Let Go

It’s been seven years, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

It was sometime after midnight, and I was wearing an oversized blue sweater with a pair of pink Victoria’s Secret sweats that I stole from her closet. My sister and I were each clenching tight to one of her hands, while my brother sat on the couch across from us with his elbows on his knees, hunched over in disbelief but prepared accept whatever was about to come his way. He was 16. My dad sat at the end of her bed, probably rubbing her feet—she always loved when he did that—but I couldn’t tell you for sure because I didn’t have the courage to look his way in those moments.

Her breathing had slowed, but with each inhale we could hear the agonizing sound of water that had begun filling her lungs—a sign the inevitable was about to come.

And within minutes, the inevitable did come.

My mother took one final, slow breath.

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I Was Afraid of Your Judgment and That’s Why I Didn’t Write for 6 Months

 

It’s been six months since I sat down and found the courage to write what’s really been going on in my life.

It’s certainly not because I didn’t have anything to write about, and it’s absolutely not because I lost my passion for writing. In fact, I’ve had to feed my appetite for blogging by posting little thoughts and poems on my Instagram account when I just couldn’t bring myself to put it all out there.

The truth is, I was afraid.

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A Message From My Mom on Mother’s Day

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I headed to SoulCycle this morning to get my mind off what I knew was bound to be a difficult day. Little did I know I’d end up leaving in tears and learning one of the greatest lessons of my life.

As today marks Mother’s Day, the class was packed with moms and their daughters, smiling, laughing and taking polaroid pictures at a little station the studio had set up to commemorate the fun morning. When they asked if I’d like to grab my mom and take a photo, I simply smiled and shook my head no.

I was alone.

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