June 25 marks an important day for me. Well I don't like to call it important because that denotes an air of positivity and that date certainly isn't a positive one for me. But all the same, June 25 is a day I pause, reflect and honour. It was 11 years ago (2004) on that day that my Mom suddenly passed away from a cancer she had only been diagnosed with 2 weeks prior. I won't ever forget where I was standing, the look on my Grandparent's faces as they approached me to give me the news that had, only hours prior, rocked their world too as my Mom was their daughter, their only child as they had already lost a son. I remember the immediate thought when my Grandma barely managed to choke out "she's gone." I remember the buckling of my knees, the sobbing, the yelling, the weight of the news bearing down so heavily on me I wasn't able to get off the ground. Such horrific memories for me, and the power of June 25 will always possess the ability to break me, at least for that day.
In previous years I have held a fundraising event around that date to honour my Mom. 20-30 women would come and donate money while I provided food, prizes and vendors. Always such a wonderful night, yet somehow in recent years started to feel a bit too impersonal to me. A natural introvert, I desired more of a quiet honouring this year.
My Mom loved to write me letters and cards, leaving me words of wisdom that I am now so very grateful for. A couple times a year I will pull some out to read them over, bringing me right back to her spirit, feeling her very close to me. Then I have to put them away until the reality of her absence takes over my heart again. She had all kinds of advice for me, but underneath the mountains of words she left behind, a common theme has always stood out.
My Mom was always drawn to feathers and every time she saw one she believed it was a hello from her brother, whom she was the greatest of friends with before he suddenly passed away. She was also drawn to angels, and told me numerous times that it was time for me (and/or her) to fly. By fly she meant:
feeling and acknowledging fear without allowing it to hinder life
dreaming BIG and going after that dream
letting go of those who no longer lift me/her higher
not living according to other's expectations
being still enough to hear the whisperings of the spirit and always, always following that guidance
living beyond doubts, fears, expectations
So June 25 this year, in keeping with my desire to honour her quietly, I headed on out and did something very un-Rachel-like and got this done:
The beautiful part of this tatoo is the word "fly." I had a book my Mom gave me with a short note inside. I had the tattoo artist blow up her handwritten word "fly" and include it in the tattoo. Now whenever I look down I can be reminded of the very important advice she gave me and will always see her handwriting, ensuring I never forget to live beyond fear.
I hope her advice inspires you as well. Now go do something that scares you, you will not grow as long as you are comfortable