Monday January 18, 2021 was a normal day for me, but for one of my best friends, life as she knew it changed forever. I was doing what I do every night: making dinner, doing baths, and cleaning my kitchen. I realized I hadn’t seen my phone in a minute, so I looked around and checked my home screen. One missed FaceTime call from my other best friend who was in the Caribbean, and then a text from her: “What are you doing right now? I need to tell you something.” My heart started to race a little because what could be so important that she had to call me on her vacation? I stood at the sink and propped my phone up ready to see her face.
I will never forget what she said.
I didn’t say anything back. We just kind of stood there looking at each other through the phone. I am not really sure what we said after that. I asked some questions and there wasn’t a lot of information at that time, but the news that our friend’s mom has unexpectedly passed away had shaken us to our core. My husband came around the corner to give me a hug; I assumed he had been listening from the other room.
You’d think I’d have all the right things to say to my friend, considering I have lost a parent myself, but I didn’t. No words can really help in a time of grief like that. I knew I would just have to be there.
Funeral plans were made for about a week away. In the days leading up to us heading out of town to be with our friend for the weekend, I did a lot of thinking about Amy, my friend’s mom. See, she wasn’t just Caitlin’s mom; she was everyone’s mom and we all affectionately called her “Mama Amy.” Amy had a way of making you feel welcomed from the moment she met you. She always had a hug to offer and advice to give. She was tons of fun and she loved her children unconditionally. She hardly ever showed up anywhere empty-handed. Even on the day of her death, she dropped a card in the mail to celebrate a family member’s sobriety. She had a children’s book and a bottle of wine waiting to give to one of our friends and her children on her dining room table. She was giving and loving, and as I sat there thinking about her, I realized that she’s the kind of mom I want to be. Her legacy is one to be remembered and admired.
Mama Amy helped me realized that as a young mom, I have the privilege to not only make a difference in the lives of my own daughters, but in the lives of their friends as well. She taught me that while we are all far from perfect, that a mama will always love you right where you are. Amy had such an impact on so many people’s lives other than her own children. At her service, half of the church consisted of the very ones that had called her Mama Amy. What an amazing testament to the love and kindness she always showed.
I have thought a lot about that in the last few weeks. I have realized that it doesn’t matter how clean my house is or what my hair and makeup look like. I want my girls and their friends to remember the LOVE they felt at my house and in my presence. I want them to remember how I made them feel. I want to teach them not to show up empty-handed, and I want to teach them that an act of kindness is unforgettable.