Today I attended the memorial service of my step-siblings' mother, Elisa, who died of pancreatic cancer. I was there not just to support them, but to pay respects to a woman who helped shape the person I am today.
Our families attended the same church when I was growing up. We attended regularly and the church family really was like an extended family. There were quite a few women who I observed over the years, they were like aunties in a way. Watching them interact which each other and their kids shaped the person I am today, and the person I am still striving to be. Each has their own gifts of creativity, honesty (sometimes brutal), generosity, dignity, and strength.
Many of these strong women were at the service today. It was a peculiar feeling to now be one of the "women" instead of a kid or teenager. Although I have been an adult for a long time, there are certain phases of life that make you feel more and more grown up. For me those were working seven years at the same job, getting divorced, losing my father, and having a child. Sitting in the church among these women I have known my whole life made me reflect on the person I used to be. In the past it might have made me feel like a bumbling kid again, and believe me, these women have seen me struggle, but today I felt like one of them. I am no longer a shy kid, but I feel like I now have lived enough to have wisdom to share with the next generation.