For an explanation of what the Pin Project is, go here.
When I started working on the Pin Project, it jump-started a fun little conversation between me and my friends and family about pins that we had, or have, and what they may have meant to us at the time we bought them. My sister mentioned having a “Shut Up and Dance” pin (which I may also have but you know…I don’t know. Time will tell!), and a friend reminisced about how she, too, used her pins to go up one side of her purse strap and down the other. Because we’re cool like that, right?
Then my mother–my adorable Mom-o-rama–said, “You know, I have a pin like the ones you’re posting. Your aunt sent it to me while I was in the hospital.” When I visited her recently, she’d already dug this pin out of her memento box and had it sitting front-and-center on the dining room table. Bright yellow pin, dark wood table, bright sunlight. I couldn’t have missed it even if I wanted to.
There’s an inescapable poignancy to this pin. Because the fact of the matter is: she has survived damn near everything.
Heart attack. Survived.
Broken neck (what? Really!): Survived. (That’s when this pin came on the scene.)
When she was in the rehab facility, early on in her neck recovery, my mother (obviously) wasn’t allowed to smoke. And she had been a smoker for decades. After her release from the hospital, Mom continued with her campaign of not-smoking, which kind of surprised me because nothing else had deterred her before. I said, “I’m glad you quit, but why now? I mean, you had cancer, you didn’t quit smoking. You had a heart attack, you didn’t quit smoking. But a broken neck makes you quit? Why?”
Gesturing into the air, my mother shrugged her shoulders and said, “Eh…I feel like I’m using up too many of my lives.”
Did I mention, she’s funny?
My mother is an inspiration for what to do when you feel like life is kicking you in the ass. Because what the hell else are you going to do? Give in? Or get back up and keep living?
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Thanks for setting the standard.