As I sit on a moving train, looking at my left hand, I look at my 5 fingers and reflect on the last 5 years since my mom took her last breath and joined the angels. Today, and every day, I miss her. Sometimes I miss her so much it brings me to tears and my heart hurts in mourning for her loss. Sometimes I also miss her so much I cry with joy in the magical experiences I have when I feel her around me. She’s continued to care for me and her loved ones here in the physical world and we are all so blessed to be loved by sweet, spunky, and beautiful, Levy. My Momma.
It’s how I feel around youFeel Around You – Le Youth
My head is on my body, but I don’t feel it
It’s getting hard to doubt you
Just like my mama said you shouldn’t second guess
I’m feeling this
As I make my way to LA to be reunited with some of my favorite people and honor Levy’s 50 years of life, I’ll take this time to share the 5 most magical moments where I’ve felt her warmth around me…where she gave me gifts here on earth when I needed them most. She continues to inspire me, to show her motherly love, and ensure that I’m consciously living my best life. I love you Momma!
The first year
In my darkness I remember
Momma’s words reoccur to me
“Surrender to the good Lord
And he’ll wipe your slate clean”
Take me to your riverRiver – Leon Bridges
I wanna go
Oh, go on
Take me to your river
I wanna know
In the first year since her death, the most magical moment that stood out to me was the first time I saw my mom since her passing. She visited me in a dream in the summer of 2018, right before I was leaving for my Europe trip with girlfriends to the Netherlands, Greece, and Italy.
Before she died, she was saying how if she felt good enough to fly, the first place she’d go to would be to visit the Vatican in Rome, Italy. Since she wasn’t able to do that, I did that for her.
When she visited me in my dream, she was wearing a crossbody bag, with jeans, and a flowy cardigan. This version of my mom was her in a recent state where her hair was growing back after her chemo and it was short, thick, and very curly! We were walking hand-in-hand on the cobbled streets of Rome and slowly going towards the Vatican. This is the scene I remember very clear in my memory.
When I woke up, I cried. I was relieved to be comforted by her presence and was grateful she came to visit. The next time I cried after that was in the actual Vatican, where I prayed for my mom, my dad, my brother, my loved ones. I prayed that she’ll continue to visit me. I prayed that my mom is dancing and singing in heaven. I prayed that I’ll never forget her.
The second year
Look at the stars
Look how they shine for you
And everything you doYellow – Emmit Fenn
In the second year since her death, the most magical moment was when I saw my momma in three different women while I was eating by myself at Cafe de Flore in Paris, France. It was a gorgeous May afternoon and I was traveling alone through France after separating from friends in Ireland.
To my left side was a mother/daughter duo speaking in English and from America. They both resembled what I knew my mom and I would’ve done if she were still here: I’d take her traveling with me to all the places she’d always dreamed of seeing. I saw my mom in the mother.
After the mother/daughter duo left, an older woman in her 60s with her dog replaced their spot. She said she recently lost her husband and was learning how to be on her own. She was also coincidentally from Washington state and lived close to Seattle! We shared some beautiful stories of our loved ones who left us. She actually took this series of photos, where one is shared above. I saw my mom in her.
After the photos were taken, an old woman was passing us from our right and she stopped to say something to me. She was speaking in French but I can tell she was saying something kind. I just said “Merci” as she walked away and smiled. I asked the woman next to me to translate and she said that the old woman was saying that I was so beautiful and happy. I was touched and really felt like my mom was right there next to me. I saw my mom in the old woman who stopped to tell a stranger they were beautiful.
The third year
I know what you’re going throughI Feel You (Sun Soaked Mix) – Kaskade
Listen, I’m a lot like you
We’re just a different shade of blue
I feel you, I feel it too
In the third year since her death, a magical moment I remember was in January before the pandemic started and I was in Koh Lanta, Thailand floating in the crystal blue waters. All I heard was the sound of my breath, the soft movement of the water around me, and all I felt was peace. I felt my mom’s presence floating out on the water. I had an epiphany here and this was when I told my then partner that I wasn’t happy in Seattle and wanted to move. I needed change, I needed more sunshine in my life, and I want to have more moments where I feel my mom.
My toes in the sand and feeling the waves kiss my toes is when I feel her. The ocean and I are connected that way. The ocean has washed away my tears. The ocean has muffled my cries of devastation through the losses I’ve experienced. The ocean has given me solace. The ocean reminds me of sunsets I’ve seen with my family growing up in LA. The ocean gives me magic.
The fourth year
I deserve congratulations (thank you)
I’d never thought that I’d survive
If you tell me I won’t make it
That’s when I, that’s when I
Superbloom, superbloomSuperbloom – Misterwives
In the fourth year since her death, a magical moment I experienced was finding this beautiful arrangement of white orchids (her favorite). I placed it by the window of my NYC apartment, and when walking by it, I would be mentally saying “Hi!!!!!” to my momma. This year, I was starting to really find ways to see her, feel her, and hear her even though she wasn’t physically here. I was still connected to the one who gave me life.
This was the year I felt her many times, though. I felt her when my ex and I were told of the news that our house had sold for the price that it did and we felt so blessed for the financial freedom it gave us. I felt her when we were driving to NYC from Seattle and it was just a little fam excitedly starting a new adventure. I felt her when we moved back to CA and memories flooded my brain of growing up in this state. I felt her when my depression hit again and the inner voice in me said that “I am not my best self, you must honor your mind and body and find your best self again”.
I am thankful for these many moments I find her. The “L” necklace I wear on me in moments where I’d like to “take her with me” was bought in 2021. Mother of Pearl, a reminder of my roots, a reminder of the first letter of my mother’s name, a reminder that she is always accessible to me, a reminder that I will always need and have my momma.
The fifth year
I want us to escalateEscalate – Ben Bohmer
To know love is growin’
I want us to escalate
To know life is goin’
I was here yesterday
We had a promise made
I want us to escalate
In this fifth year since her death, I’ve felt her presence in less moments, but when I did feel her, they were sooooo strong. I was moved. This undoubtedly has been the most tumultuous year yet for me: I moved to a completely new home and started a new life…moved to a little studio in San Francisco after my ex and I separated and decided to end our marriage after seven years together…then unexpectedly found love again in the most magical of ways. I felt my mother’s magical presence when she gave me a wonderful human named Dylan.
There’s so much I can say about this epic love story I hoped to have after the end of one that was already so meaningful and deep. What I was hoping and trusted I would eventually find, was someone who would know how to take care of me when I couldn’t, and for someone to go on countless adventures with. Adventures in the outdoors, on land, in the sea, and in the air. Where Dylan and I met was at the Gorge Amphitheater at the Above & Beyond music festival in the early hours of a July day. We saw each other in the crowd, locked eyes, and have been inseparable ever since.
As we spent more time together that day on the hill at the gorgeous Gorge, we started to become great friends, opening up and sharing stories about ourselves, about where we were in our lives at that moment. We shared our deepest thoughts about life, family, friends, our roles in society as the humans we are, and our experiences in love and the loss of such.
After he shared a story about his beautiful little girl, I shared about the loss of my momma. As I felt the emotions running through all the cells in my body, Dylan, a mere stranger, comforted me and asked the most thoughtful of questions. The sun was shining as he held me, and as the sun shined on him, I smiled at my momma in the sky, who I knew sent me this amazing human who opened me up and connected with me in a way I would’ve never expected.
After 36 magical hours together, we decided to continue getting to know one another even though we were separated 5,475 miles from each other. I was in San Francisco and he was in Amsterdam. The Netherlands!! I met a man in a crowd and here we were feeling love for one another. Insane. But I honored the promise I made to myself to remain open and authentic and cautiously jumped off this cliff with Dylan, trusting the connection we had made and embracing what’s to come for me.
Over the last few months, we’ve visited one another in San Francisco and Amsterdam, got to know one another, have become the best of friends, and have grown to adore one another. He continues to respect my journey and supports me in all the ways I need to be supported. We speak the sweetest language of love. It’s an amazing feeling to find someone you have so much in common with. We have also become each other’s trusted partner. He gives my life a new meaning and I’m glad we found each other and both jumped hand-in-hand off the cliffs of a new love.
I am grateful that my momma gave me this man on that July night and am grateful that even on this day, I continue to feel joy, love, comfort, and peace as more days go by since I last held her hand. I thank her for this gift.
Fix me as I fix you
Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face, and I
Lights will guide you homeFix You (Live) – Coldplay
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
As the years go by, my memory, these posts, and stories of her is how I keep her alive here in the physical world.
I’ll never forget the minutes where I sang “Fix You” at her funeral. It took all of my strength to sing a song with so much meaning on the day we laid her to rest. After that day, I could barely get through the first ten seconds of this song without a breakdown. Now, I can listen to this song with a smile, knowing that I did my best as a daughter to care for my mom.
Her light has continued to guide me home. It ignites my bones and gives me the strength to continue moving forward when the pain is so much. She’s fixed me in the same ways I helped to fix her.
Not a day goes by where I don’t miss her. She’ll always be my beautiful momma. The giver of my life. The one I honor every morning I say hello to a new day. Let’s continue to do so. Let’s continue to honor the beautiful life our Levy lived.
Sending light and love to all those who honor her. I love you and thank you for loving her and thank you for loving us through the years.