A Mother’s Legacy

Mother and adult daughter, smiling together.

Another Bittersweet Mother’s Day

It’s that time again…Mother’s Day and while I am thrilled to spend it celebrating with my two little boys, there is always a tremendous feeling of emptiness I get on this day as well. What I would give to be able to call my mom on the phone and tell her Happy Mother’s Day, or to be able to send her flowers to celebrate this special day to celebrate a mother. Ever since I lost my mom to cancer eight years ago, this holiday has always been bittersweet.

My Mom’s Story

I will never forget the day I got the call that my mom had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer. I went through the normal feelings of “this can’t be happening to our family”, “why her” and “this happens to other people, not us”. At that moment, as much I was wanted to believe she would push through, in my gut I knew she would not. And it hit me. What in the world am I going to do without my mother? We literally talked on the phone daily…who would I call now? Who was going to tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing? Who is going to rock me in her arms (yes, even as an adult!) when I need comforting? Who is going to teach me how to be a good mom? In one five minute phone call, my entire life changed and I knew it immediately.

Unfortunately, I was right about her prognosis. My mom lived for only 10 months after she was diagnosed. It was a devastating time for me and my entire family, and there were moments in which I didn’t know how we would all go on without her.

A Mother’s Legacy

The year after my mom died was the hardest in my life, there is no doubt about that. But, somewhere around the one year mark something amazing happened. I literally woke up in my bed one morning and it was like there was a light inside of me so bright that it was just bursting to get out. I knew at that moment that every bit of strength, spirit and fight my mom had was fully alive inside of me. It almost felt as if a piece of her had been balled up inside of me just waiting until I was ready for it to come out.

That day a light turned on inside of me that hasn’t stopped shining ever sense. That “light” gave me a much stronger appreciation for life and every moment we are all so fortunate to be able to experience. It also made me realize that I had been holding back my entire life and it was time for that to change. I had held back saying what I truly thought or felt because I was nervous what people would think about me. I had held back asking for that raise or promotion because I wasn’t sure I really deserved it. I had held back showing any vulnerability because I was simply afraid. From that day forward I stopped holding back and just started living my life exactly how I wanted to live it.

I stopped caring what others thought about me. I started saying exactly what I thought and asking for what I wanted. Better yet; I took charge of my life and career and went out and made it happen how I wanted it to happen. It’s pretty amazing to see how far my personal and professional lives have come in the eight years since my mom passed away.

My mother was the strongest woman I have ever known and in her passing she gave me the greatest gift she possibly could have – she passed that strength on to her daughter. Her legacy will not only live on through me, but also through my boys who will know what it means to be and live a strong and confident life.

While her passing was tragic, I am forever grateful for the life I am living today as a result of it.

So to that, thank you mom!

Rebekah Lyle

Rebekah Lyle is the Director of Marketing at WhiteWave Foods and is passionate about the organic and natural foods industry. As a mother of two she is committed to having an impact on feeding the generations to come in a healthier, more sustainable way.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of DrGreene.com. The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or DrGreene.com, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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  1. Joe Lyle

    Rebekah is an amazing, wonderful, person and I am so proud to be her father. Every time I think of Kathie I think of our beautiful wonderful daughters Rebekah and Jennifer. Rebekah you’re so right every day should be cherished. every day is to be lived to its fullest and you should never take anything for granted.

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  2. Debbie Carosella

    You are literally on fire both professionally and personally but I didn’t know that flame was being fueled in part by your beautiful Mom. What a wonderful tribute to her. What a blessing you had a loving, supportive Mom like her. Happy, happy Mothers Day!

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  3. Ian

    A beautiful, well written story my friend! You have always been a strong, lovely person! Your mom is so very proud of you, your strength, and your family! <3

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