9 Ways Mom Taught Us to Be Neon
Mother's day is coming up and we wanted to share with you a special post from of our dear friends, Amber and Andrea. Amber and Andrea are sisters who lost their mom to cancer in 2011. Though this holiday can be difficult for them, they have found a neon lining and today they celebrate their mom by sharing 9 ways their mom was a NeonBabe!
9 Ways our mom was a NeonBabe - and how she has passed it along to us!
In 2011, our mom passed away after a long battle with Multiple Myeloma, which is cancer in the bone marrow. Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for us, but this year, we wanted to celebrate all of the amazing things about our mom, and how they have shaped us into the people we are today.
1. Her sense of humor
If you knew our mom, you would know that spending time with her meant at some point, you were going to laugh until your stomach hurt and tears were rolling down your face. She had a special kind of way of always finding humor in everything she did, and everyday situations. This is definitely where we get our self-appointed hilarious and sometimes odd sense of humor. Our mom taught us that even in the most mundane situation, you could find something to laugh about! Laughing together is one of our favorite memories our have with our mom.
2. Her dance moves
Has anyone ever seen our sweet moves? Our personal favorite is the car dance… where you simultaneously drive and wave your arms up and down around your face like a wild woman to the beat of the music. Yes, that dance came from our mom, and it is a classic! She could do this move with any genre of music: country, classic rock, oldies… but my favorite was when she would do the car dance to some gangster rap and then sing/rap along. SO entertaining. And yes, these moves have been passed along to us. So when we’re in the car reciting every lyric to an old 90’s hip hop song and embarrassingly dancing along, we’re thinking of you, mom!
3. Her passion
If you look up the definition of the word “passionate,” you’ll see synonyms like: intense, animated, spirited, and heartfelt. In a nutshell, our mom was passionate towards things she strongly believed in. If she had an opinion about something, you were sure to know her stance. Some might agree that this could also partly be due to our strong Italian roots (haha), but either way, I am proud of the way she fervently protected us when we were children, stood for what she believed in, and fought a passionate fight with cancer until the end of her life. I try to live my life as passionately as she did.
4. Her Italian heritage
Speaking of Italian roots… two words: Italian food. One thing we loved to do together was cook… and eat. And eat. And eat! Thank you, mom, for teaching us the value of getting together as a family in the kitchen. To this day, we all still love to get together to cook some of our mom’s favorite dishes and talk about our favorite memories. This is something we will always value, and continue to do with our own families when we are moms ourselves.
5. Her creative/artistic side
Mom loved showing her artistic side, especially through her career in cosmetology. She definitely passed down her cosmo skills to Andrea, and now Andrea is expressing her passion and creativity as she embarks in her own cosmo career! Mom has inspired her to continue to express herself though her love of doing hair and building clientele every day. As for Amber (who is a Pre-K teacher), the creativity from mom is passed through her in her own unique “teacher crafty” way.
6. Her determination
I know mom would never quit at something she really wanted. Like, she would spend hours and hours online shopping (sometimes until 2am) to find one little bracelet charm to add to her collection of charm bracelets because it had to be the perfect one. And she was going to find it. Tonight. But her determination was deeper than just searching for the perfect online gift; She never stopped fighting her cancer. She was a fighter and determined to stay as strong as she could throughout her entire battle.
7. Her love for outdoors/sense of adventure
Mom was always seeking adventures, especially for all of us kids to do together with her. She was always trying to plan something… trips to the lake during the summer or Tahoe during the winter. Even if our plans fell through, she would still get so excited planning, and the thought of us being together. She would even spontaneously buy us a wakeboard to share, even if we’d never use it. Even just getting together outside and riding our bikes on the trail, or walking to a dinner destination, she loved getting outside.
8. Her compassion/giving back to others
Mom loved to give back and help those in need, even if she didn’t have a lot to give back in the first place. We have memories starting from when we were younger of doing big Christmas charity events, to something more simple like buying an extra donut at the donut shop and stopping to deliver it to the homeless man on the corner. Even later on in her life, when she herself was going through a tough battle with cancer, she always wanted to attend events and fundraisers, and support others however she could. When my mom entered hospice towards the end of her life, her request when she passed away was for her body to be donated for cancer research. Even up until the end of her life, she wanted to help others. We try to always think about the selfless and generous ways mom gave back to her community and to others, and try to emulate her spirit.
9. Her ability to LOVE
We all know that every family has some drama. We had many ups and downs. But our mama taught us how to love unconditionally through every rough patch we encountered, especially during the last few months of her cancer battle. Through every late night hospital trip, wherever her cancer journey brought us, she had her three little musketeers by her side. We needed love to stay strong. We needed love in the little things like having a feast in the hospital room or watching dumb YouTube videos until we were all crying of laughter. She taught us to cherish every moment and every day because you never know what life will throw your way next. She raised three strong little fighters, and even though we miss our mom so much every day, we find peace in knowing that we all resemble her in our own mommy way. LOVE YOU MOM!