Letters to Mom 013: Jiu Jitsu White Belt – First Stripe


I received my first stripe in Jiu Jitsu tonight at my dojo.

This is the post I wrote on Facebook . 

This is me being an INFJ and writing an emotional post and giving absolutely zero fucks about writing it.

This is for you, mom.

This is my grief in its entirety.

This is my rage, my pain, and my weakness. This is my anguish, my fear, and my abandonment. This is my strength, my honor, and my pride. This is my humility, my gratitude, and my forgiveness.

And in the end, after everything else is spent and has had its time, pouring from my fingertips into the keyboard in front of me, this will be my acceptance and peace.

This is for the past year, mom. This is for everything that has happened since March 23rd, 2016.

This is for the first phone call with Jason where I heard him say the doctors didn’t think you would make it. This is for the four hours of sitting on the plane silently begging the Universe to let you still be there when I landed. This is for holding your hand for two weeks and being your “water fairy”. This is for every night I had the best worst sleep in my life while I stayed at the hospital with you.

This is for the last time I held your hand as I called the funeral home and told them I didn’t know what to do.

This is for flying back to South Carolina with your urn in my backpack. This is for the TSA guy who handed it back to me with his solum, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

This is for dad because he didn’t have to come to your service. He didn’t have to be there for me and Jon, but he was.

This is for dealing with Zane’s betrayal.

This is for telling Full Sail to go fuck itself and resigning.

This is to society’s oppressive mentality of thinking I wasn’t good enough whenever I said I was unemployed.

This is for the past year of learning how to live without you, mom.

This is for every phone conversation I haven’t been able to have with you. For every hug I wish I could give you. For every night I cried myself to sleep. For every morning I didn’t understand how to get out of bed.

This. This night. This single stripe of tape wrapped around a sweat soaked piece of cloth. This is for you.

This is my proof to you that I’ve survived. This is my way to show that I have honored the promise I made to you while I held your cold hand that final time and told you I would be strong. That I would keep going even though I didn’t know how.

This is for every time I screamed in my car. This is for every time I questioned why or how or what’s the point. This is for every time I wanted to give up and didn’t.

It seems so silly to the logical side of my brain. It’s just a piece of tape. But it’s so much more than that, mom.

I know you’re proud of me. I know you would be overjoyed that I achieved this. I know there are two sides to everything. It’s so minor and yet it’s so major. Simple and yet complex. It’s seemingly nothing, and yet, at the same time, it’s everything.

It’s the blood, sweat, and tears. It’s the fractured rib I fought to breathe around. It’s the bruises and the mat burn. It’s me drop kicking that voice of Self Doubt that I still struggle with sometimes in the face.

This is for every person who has supported me, both knowing and unknowing, through the hardest year of my life.

This is for my pseudo-family at the dojo. This is for every single person on my Facebook. For every person on my blog.

This single white piece of tape is my symbol of survival through all of it. Through everything mentioned and unmentioned.

This is my way of telling Life it can go fuck itself if it thinks I’m going to go down without a fight.

I WILL keep going. This IS NOT my end.

This, all of this, is for you mom.

I’m me because you lived. I’m me because you died. I’m your daughter, now and forever, and I will ALWAYS do my best to bring you honor.

You were the best person in my life. My best friend, my confidant, my mentor, my supporter. You were my mother and your death taught me just how much that word meant to me. You ARE my mother and not even death can change that.

Your final words to me, “I’ll love you forever and for always.”

I love you too, mom. I will love you forever and for always, too.

This is for you. This is for everything you ever did for me, and for everything you continue to do.

Thank you for raising me. Thank you for teaching me to believe in myself. Thank you for being you. But above all of that, beneath every action and goal and dream, at the foundation of who I am, thank you for being my mother.

This is for you, mom. This is for us.

Photo Mar 08, 9 51 25 PM


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