If you ask her what I most remember from my childhood, she might tell you it was that I grew up on Lucky Charms and Taco Bell. Or that I mostly made due with Levi’s when Guess was plastered across my wishlist. These are the zingers I tease with. But buried layers beneath are the tender truths of how I came to be.
Ours was a family woven tight with threads of belonging. Like wagons on a pioneering prairie we circled, room for each. No gaps.
Put to music, our chorus would ring: one of us.
Not once did I doubt my place. I never wondered if I was loved. If I was enough.
I always was, in spite.
Forced to choose but one as most prized of the gifts she gave me, most assuredly I’d choose roots.
She gave me the gift of knowing who I am. Where I come from. A place I am always welcome to go home to.
And if anything has shaped who I became, it was who I started as.
I borrow Cassie’s words, Mom, when I thank you for growing me. Love you.