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  • Tricia Campbell

My Guiding Light

Happy Birthday Mom.

Today would have been my Mom’s 68th birthday. Yesterday marked 21 years since she left this earthly plane. She was strong, kind, a little crazy (maybe a lot crazy), and an inspiration.

We had many laughs and many fights. I’ll never forget the day I got the call about her brain tumor. It was just shortly after her birthday. She did things in the last year which the doctors said she would never do. I was able to help take care of her for a few months.

There are many things I would have done differently. Time does that to a person. She never got a chance to see me clean and knew full well about my addiction.

She has been my guiding light and spirit. She’s the voice I heard on my first day without drugs, telling me, “I’ve done all I can do. It’s up to you now.”


Grief's Journey

Circa 1976

Missing her will always be there in rippling or crashing waves. I’ve learned not to judge my grief journey. I’ve been able to feel it all, the pain, the sorrow, and the joy.

Every once and awhile I get a glimpse of her in my own reflection, in the eyes of my nieces, and the lines in my hands. I see her in butterflies. Her spirit is in songs. She visits me in my dreams, always the way I remember her before the steroids. I know she lives on in each and every one of my seven siblings.

I’ve been a bit quiet on social media for a while now. I’ve been really fatigued, low energy, and probably depressed. I’m still in Florida with my family, which I’m grateful and happy about. It happens. I get down sometimes. It a fine line for me to take care of myself by resting and not getting stuck in a rut and getting out and do things. It's also a part of knowing June 2nd & 3rd were approaching. A sort of cocooning time for me. Time to reflect on all that she was and even all that she wasn't. Grief doesn't have a timeline. There are no "shoulds." I believe if I allow the journey to unfold as it should be, the more peace I will find.


Seasons of My Life

Boston Hills, 2008

This October 22nd, I'll turn 47. My mother died the day before her 47th birthday. It's hard to explain how it feels to outlive a parent. It's surreal and quite frankly fucked up. My siblings were as young as 6 years old and I was 25 years old, when she died.

The younger ones don't have many memories of her. My youngest sister told me she doesn't remember what it's like to have a mom. So, I do my best to share stories, send pictures, and keep her energy flowing.

After she died, I spiraled into the abyss of the Underworld. A deep and dark chasm of which I thought to be endless. It was her light, shining bright that I saw. It pulled me out and gave me strength.

Today, I draw on that strength when changes in life happen. I draw on her strength when another threshold has been crossed. I draw on her strength when the ocean tides change. I'm bolder because of it.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

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