I was a little worried writing about my mother because I thought it would seem like I was looking for sympathy, but I figured it was a good topic to write about because it had the largest effect on me. My goal became to write an essay that didn't focus on the death or loss but on the change and growth that took place.
Being active is something that has always been important to me, and I learned this from growing up with and observing an expert. My mother was more active and involved than anyone I have ever known. She had an endless energy for life, and love for my two brothers and me, and I have tried to be the kind of person that she was. The phrase on her headstone reads: "A joyous and boundless energy."
My mother was a highly respected kindergarten teacher for twenty years. In addition to working with children as a professional, she was always involved in my elementary school years, as a class mother or President of the PTO. In the summers there were more children, as we would go to sleepaway camp in Maine and she would be in charge of the youngest group of campers. She was always running, playing, consoling, planning, and caring for children. At home, she was just as active. I remember doing homework with her every night and she got so involved with it that she would practically do it for me, which I thought, at the time, was a pretty good thing. We were always going places, visiting friends, just learning, and there was never a dull moment. Though I didn't know it consciously at the time, she was setting an example which I was bound to follow.
Over seven years ago, my mother died after a long battle with melanoma. I was ten at the time, in fifth grade, and I suppose I didn't really understand it all that well, or as well as my older brothers did. This essay is not about that loss or death, but on the change that took place. After she was gone, things were so drastically different, because there was so much dull time with nothing to fill it but thoughts. I think I learned from my mom about how to be active and I must have decided, subconsciously, to continue in her path. I saw how happy she and the rest of my family were, and I wanted to perpetuate that.
Though it was a small beginning, I began the next year by becoming class president. I joined every club I could and participated in different sports. I wanted to do as many different things as I could. One of my memories of junior high was being busy every lunch period with meetings: the math team, student government, Junior National Honor Society. I was the this little tiny kid, the smallest in my grade, and I was always running around and talking. I remember being scolded many times for what I thought was having too much energy. I was always taught, by my mother, that energy was a good thing, and when it got me in trouble it was very confusing. I continued with this energy and involvement throughout my high school years.
I come from a very small school, and that has had a positive effect in allowing me to explore many different activity options. I wouldn't have been able to experiment the way that I did if I had come from a larger school. I found myself involved in athletics, student government and publications, community service, academic competitions, and drama productions. This experimentation allowed me to see what activities I liked the most, and it gave me a good idea of what I want to continue doing. I loved going to my high school and felt close to the 82 other students in my grade. I think I would like to pursue education at a small school which would allow me to continue to participate the way I have.
I don't think it really matters to me exactly what I am doing. I just want to be doing something. I want to be involved and be around people instead of just sitting home. I wouldn't have had nearly as much fun if I hadn't participated. I have met so many new people and had so many different experiences. I learned this from my mother and I think it's a very important lesson. I like to think that my life, and all that I do, is part of a tribute to my mother's legacy, and that I have inherited some of her "joyous and boundless energy.