Two years ago this week, our mom went to sleep peacefully and left this physical plane. And even though during her last few years her body was just giving out and shutting down and she couldn’t remember who we were, there were some sparks of recognition occasionally.
The photo is of my mom from a much earlier age – maybe late teens or in her early twenties. I love her smile and I love that she is swinging. I hope that where she is now, they have swings.
As you can imagine, especially if you’ve lost a parent or someone you’ve loved in that role, there is a hole in your heart. All of a sudden, you’re an orphan, no matter what age you are and there are tons of memories to sort through.
Here is a link to the posting I wrote four days after my mom’s death: A Hole in My Heart. It still rings loud and true to me.
Sorting through the memories can be a joyful and a sad experience, and amazingly, each day something she said or did finds its way to the surface for me to feel all over again. Sometimes good feelings and sometimes, not so good feelings. But with time, the not so good feelings are fading and the more I have experienced what hormones can do to our body at various stages of our life and the general ups and downs we go through, the more I can understand those not so good days for her. And, let’s be honest after all – I imagine I could have been one A+ pain in the butt kid at times. I know, hard to believe, huh?
Remembering my promise to myself that I will never “live in regret” for things left undone or unsaid, I choose to believe that I can have conversations with her now and that she will receive every word, and often, give me a signal that she did. Just the other day I was wishing that she could see our new place in Vermont and spend some time in this lovely country, and I immediately got a sense from her that she has been here many times with me and loves it.
So, that hole that hurt so much two years ago continues to be filled up. Mostly with the good stuff these days. And, always with love.
Losing a parent – another life transition. For those of you who have lost a parent or parenting figure in your life, how do you keep the conversation going and fill the hole that was left behind?
Five provocative questions answered by an inspiring and fabulous woman – a woman with something to say.
Meet DeLores Pressley
DeLores Pressley, International Keynote Speaker and Confidence Expert, is dedicated to helping women be bold, confident and courageous. She is the CEO of DeLores Pressley Worldwide and Founder of the UP Woman™ Network, a network and movement to empower and elevate women.
She is an author of 5 books and a contributing columnist for Smart Business Magazine. She is very involved in her community and President of the National Speakers Association (NSA) Ohio Chapter.
As a former elementary school teacher and a pioneer of the plus size fashion and modeling industry, DeLores has inspired and helped thousands to leverage their leadership voice, have a powerful presence and make life transformations. She is a frequent media guest and has appeared on Married To Medicine on Bravo TV, Entertainment Tonight and OPRAH.
People would be surprised to know that: I didn’t always feel bold, confident and courageous. I didn’t always feel like I deserved to be wealthy. My family wasn’t rich, we were economically challenged. So when I began my business, I gave away more than I should be giving away. I didn’t understand my worth and devalued my worth. I didn’t charge the fees that I deserved and had owned the right to charge.
What’s the conversation that changed your life?
A conversation nearly twenty years ago with one of my business coaches. He said, “DeLores, you don’t realize your true value.” Those words changed my life. He helped me to realize that I was more powerful than I had ever believed I could be.
Society always tried to make me feel as though I was not good enough. The dance school would not allow my mother to sign me up for ballet because they told her that I was too fat. My high school guidance teacher told me that I was not college material and when I wanted to start a model agency for plus size women, people laughed at me. That’s why I have dedicated my life to helping people who feel FLAWED or NOT GOOD ENOUGH to live their life dreams no matter what.
What are you most conscious of today?
Women being afraid to own and live in their full power. The Imposter Syndrome is alive and well in many women. The Imposter Syndrome, which is defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even when the opposite is true. It is prevalent among successful men and women, and in African Americans. It is derived from messages, attitudes, or beliefs that have been imparted on a person from early stages of life, by parents or any other important person that was present during childhood (childhood conditioning). Female celebrities with this syndrome include Jodie Foster and Nicole Kidman, They have used words such as “fake”, “impostor”, “fraud”, “guilt”, “really bad job”, to describe themselves and their acting.
What part of you have yet to give voice to?
I want to start a Foundation where underprivileged young women can get funding to attend conferences for women business owners . The young women could get an accountability partner from our database of adult women who want to mentor a young woman who wants to be a business owner. I think I will call it the She Elevates Foundation.
Also, I have been gifted to have a singing voice, however, I do not sing very often. So I need to give voice to my “singing voice”.
What’s the conversation women need to be having collectively?
Women need to have a conversation around working together in a big way.
We need more joint ventures. We can accomplish so much more if we work together versus doing it alone.
What needs to be said bigger, louder, stronger?
Women need to love themselves where they are at this very moment. Yes, they may want to make changes, but they must love themselves first.
Reports show that even small girls have challenges with self-esteem. That poor self-esteem carries over into adulthood. We must stop the madness!
I believe that women need to make more bold, confident and courageous moves. We need to teach our daughters at an early age that they are beautiful and can accomplish in life exactly what they want to accomplish.
Thank you, DeLores, for sharing your powerful voice
with WomanTalk Live