When my girls woke up today they came downstairs shouting, “Happy Canada Day!” We all shared an excited exchange of joy at the meaning of the day. Then my eldest daughter, Madison, turned to me and said, “I know this is also Erika’s 33rd birthday. Even though we all miss her a ton, let’s not be sad today let’s celebrate her wonderful life. She would want us to do that mom.”
How wise she is for eleven. How truthful her words are.
So…celebrate her life we shall!!!
Though it was everyone’s hope and dream that Erika would continue to play an instrumental role in my daughters’ growth and evolution into young women, I am grateful that our souls ever touched one another. We have been left eternally changed by that profoundly beautiful connection.
To have had the experience of unconditional love, mutual respect and enjoying each other’s company is a gift we shall forever treasure.
Erika was “that” person my children thought to call when they wanted to share a meaningful accomplishment, a challenging moment or an upcoming event. And she was always there for them…a loving ear, a considerate heart and a trusted friend.
She made them feel accepted, loved and beautiful. She appreciated their smiles, their laughs…she shared in their discoveries…their first loose teeth…their dance recitals and she gave them support and encouragement through challenges.
Erika and Madison shared many similarities…a face full of gorgeous freckles…a scar from life-saving surgery on the right side of their abdomens, and a thirst to try and enjoy every new thing life had to offer.
Madison and I were invited to attend the Girls 20 Summit last week to mark the launch of the Dove Movement in praise of mentors. I suppose I hadn’t thought about it before…but upon reflection of the wonderful discussion we enjoyed, that was led by the amazing Jess Weiner, there is little doubt that Erika was a valuable mentor to my three young daughters.
The great thing about mentors is that once you have been exposed to one, the impact of their friendship never fades; rather, it sets the foundation upon which a strong character continues to build.
On this Canada Day…we celebrate our mentor who is physically gone…but lives on in our hearts eternally. And when we watch the brilliant fireworks light up the sky tonight we will think of the little freckle faced girl who thought the night sky was lit up in honor of HER birth-day. I can’t help but smile thinking about how Erika lit up OUR world and all the magical ways her light and energy continue to ripple through the hearts and souls of everyone who has joined us on our journey to create this living legacy in memory of a friend, a mentor, a truly amazing woman.
In honor of Erika’s birthday I invite you to join our movement...be sure you tell the amazing women in your life that you think they are amazing today and everyday. You could just change someone’s life forever…the way Erika changed ours.
Never forget one person can make a difference in this world…that one person is YOU!
With much love,
Inspired friend xo