On Wednesday, May 20th my daughter’s high school, in particular the Class of 2009, honored us with a bench with a memorial plaque dedicated to our daughter Brittany. She was a student in the system since 2nd grade and died while a senior. She would have graduated in 2007.
As I look back over the last few days I am so proud of what a legacy my daughter left for us to keep working on. She taught me so much as a mother, and she continues to teach me as I grieve the silence of her voice, the absence of her physical presence and the infectious laugh that I’ll never forget. She taught me that inspite of your difficulties you must see the glass as half full. Never half empty. Despite a life-long, chronic illness of Epilepsy and Crohn’s Disease she saw life as an adventure. But it wasn’t always that way.
It took her awhile to get to that level of maturity. It took meeting the best friend of her life, the love of her life and a trip to Costa Rica to learn what was important in life. I remember a conversation we had a few weeks before her passing when she was acting out some and I finally called her on it and I asked her “what’s going on”. We talked and she finally came out with what was bothering her.
She said, “mom, if Andy really knew me, he wouldn’t love me. If he knew I had all these problems he wouldn’t love me.” I looked at her sad face and gave her a big hug and then I told her, “Brittany, Andy loves you because of who you are not what you have. You are who you are because of these problems. These problems have provided the means for you to see the world like many other should see it, with a value on love, life and purpose. And that is why he loves you.” – she laughed and said “Thanks Mom” gave me a big hug and ran off. That was our last conversation about life.
until next time,