I awoke to the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced in my life.
The pain was so bad I couldn’t even remember my name, let alone what day of the week it might have been.
What was wrong with me?
I stood up and things started to make sense. My name is Sharon. Today is Wednesday. I am about to give birth to my very first child. Holy sh*t! The pain was unbearable.
I wobbled down the steps and reached for the phone that was fastened to the kitchen wall.
“Mom, it’s time.”
I arrived at the hospital in no time at all. I couldn’t even sit in the wheelchair the nurse brought to me at the registration desk.
“Honey, you need to sit or they won’t take you upstairs to have that baby of yours,” my mom stroked my hair to calm me down.
“I can’t sit down. Mom, please make the pain go away.”
I started to pace at the front desk.
“Sit the hell down.” My mother demanded.
“Mom, no! Please make the pain go away.”
She grabbed my shoulders to stop the pacing.
“I can’t stop the pain, but the sooner we get you upstairs, the sooner we can get that baby out. Once the baby is out, the pain goes away.”
I stomped like a five-year-old over to the chair and forced myself down through the pain.
Six long dreadful hours later without an epidural or any type of drug that might ease the pain, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
And my mother was right. The pain stopped as soon as they placed that little girl in my arms. And my life was changed forever at that moment.
I was young, alone, and scared. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I didn’t always have the answers. And it wasn’t always easy. But we had each other.
You gave my life purpose.
Being your mom was one of my favorite things to be in this world. You inspired me to be more than I thought I was capable of. I wanted more for you. I wanted to give you more than I had. So I made something of myself for you, for us. And I thank you for giving me hope in this life.
I am so proud of the woman you became. You are kind and caring. You fight for what you believe in. You love with all of your heart.
On this day, you are beginning a new life as a wife. I don’t have anything epic to pass down to you. But I do have my words.
My advice to you, my beautiful daughter, on your wedding day is this:
1. Don’t forget who you are.
Yes, marriage is the joining of two hearts as one. But it doesn’t mean you should ever forget who you are, what is important to you, or even give up parts of yourself.
You are responsible for your own happiness. It is not his job to make you happy. He should be kind, loving, loyal, and trusting. But you need to be happy within. And he will be by your side through it all.
2. Always learn something new.
Always keep your head and heart open. Keep learning new things about yourself, your husband, and the world around you. There is so much to learn. Don’t ever think you’re done. When you think you know it all, look deeper. There is so much more out there.
Be curious. See the world. Live a life. By yourself and along with your new husband.
3. Face your fears.
Don’t live your life in fear. Run toward it. Jump into the unknown. You both have so much to experience together. Don’t be scared. You got this.
4. Maintain a social circle.
Keep good people in your life. The ones who want the best for you and your new life. You don’t have to give up on girls’ night out or forget the important people in your life. There is room to be a wife and still be a friend. You will always need your friends. Keep them by your side.
5. Take ownership.
When you are wrong, own it. When you are right, there is no need to prove it.
6. Keep your dreams.
Don’t give up on your dreams. You will just need to include him in them now. Dream big. Dream loud.
You won’t know what the heck you’re doing. You won’t always have the answers. And it won’t be easy. But you will have each other.
I wish you all the happiness in the world, my beautiful baby girl.