This past year has been pretty full of change and heartache. Loss of a marriage, loss of friends, lots of hardship at work, and some tumultuous times with my family. But blossoming at the center of it all has been deep, profound love. Harper’s birth gave me a strength I never had before - something bigger to live for. A love more important than myself. It dispelled fear and replaced it with deep faith. Faith in life, and in love, and in the value of growth.
I am grateful that she has given me the courage model for her the kind of woman I hope to inspire her to be. I am so grateful she will see what it looks like for her mom to be loved by a good man. To be supported and cared for. To have joy and laughter and affection. I am so grateful to be able to pass through hardship with some measure of grace. To be able to practice love and service and humility and gratitude in the best and worst of times. To do the right thing even when it’s hard, and to do the hard things with a soft heart.
I remember my birthday a year ago. Since that day almost everything has changed, but I feel more myself today than I did a year ago. More like the woman I am pretty sure God and the universe has always intended for me to be: mother to a beautiful daughter who lights up the very core of my being; the woman to a loving man who inspires me to be better every day; part of a joyful, honest, authentic, loving community of good people I call friends; and the best daughter and sister I know how to be.
This year on my birthday I will be in Cape Town. Harper will spend the day with her dad. I will miss her, and send her so much love, and see her the following day. Being a single mom is hard, but there is so much to be grateful for that I really should not waste time complaining. Worse things can happen than having a beautiful baby with lots of people who love her and a whole host of people to shower love on me on my birthday in a beautiful city at the tip of Africa, where the mountains meet the sea.