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The Circle of Life

By November 29, 2017 May 15th, 2020 One Comment

I was struck this past week by a beautiful example of the circle of life. The day before Thanksgiving this year, my grandmother, who we called Momo, passed away. She was the matriarch of the large Dayton family, which includes six children, 14 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. With hard work and consistency during her life, she instilled in all of our family the values that we believe are important – love, compassion, kindness, generosity, caring, integrity, diligence, friendship, and family.

The quote included in this blog by Mandy Hale reminds me of my Momo. It reads, “Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical person that you are.” Momo was an amazingly magical woman, full of life, quirky, fun and proud to be herself.

The quote also reminds me of Chloe. She visited home during the Thanksgiving break and I like to believe that Momo hung around our earth long enough to make sure that Chloe had discovered our family values within herself and is on the right path. Like the circle of life, Momo’s spirit and values have encompassed Chloe and she’s beginning to feel and understand the beauty and fragility of our journey on earth.

During her stay, I was delighted to experience with Chloe the very values that Momo has passed along. Through the support of her treatment program and Chloe’s growth, she now fluidly communicates and practices our family values daily; skills we weren’t sure she’d ever grasp.

I’m honored to be Momo’s granddaughter and the mother of Chloe. The growth Chloe has embraced over the last year has been a deep commitment of faith and a miracle to us. Sometimes, I can’t even believe this is the girl we sent to Utah 14 months ago. She’s kind, considerate, honest, open, caring, empathetic, compassionate and she loves her family, friends and animals.

Chloe’s progress and Momo’s passing provided me perspective about life’s priorities when I needed it most. What I know for sure is that Momo’s spirit and values live on through Chloe and all of our family in the circle of life.

Andrea Berryman Childreth

Author Andrea Berryman Childreth

Andrea Berryman Childreth is an award-winning author of the book, ON THE EDGE: Help and hope for parenting children with mental illness, founder of The Lemonade Project, advocate and parent coach. She has first-hand experience with parenting a mentally ill daughter and has struggled with mental illness, herself. Her goal is to help empower people to openly share their stories and improve access to equitable mental health services.

More posts by Andrea Berryman Childreth

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