She was my mother, but I almost didn’t recognize her. Despite only having slept a few hours during her overnight travels, there was an unfamiliar glow about her.
“You look good,” I remarked. “Have you been going on a lot of walks?’”
“Yes, I have.” She smiled. “And I’ve lost 42 pounds.”
I felt my jaw drop to the floor.
“That is amazing!” I exclaimed. “I’m so happy for you. Where did this motivation come from?”
“I was scared,” she began. “The doctor said we needed to increase the strength of my high blood pressure medication because it was getting worse. There was also a strange tingling in my hands and feet that wasn’t there before. I started googling what these symptoms could mean, and basically, I was on a fast track to something incredibly serious. I want to get back to living an active, healthful life and I knew it wasn’t too late to make that happen.”
“How is your blood pressure now?” I asked.
“Oh it’s perfectly normal.” She smiled once more. “I go on walks everyday and I keep track of everything I eat. I cut out alcohol completely. It wasn’t easy. The first week was miserable but then I suddenly got this crazy energy spike and feel better than ever. Once I started seeing results I knew I could do this.”
The remainder of our trip was spent exploring Glasgow to the fullest. Between climbing lighthouses to hour long walks throughout the city, my mom was there for it all. Truthfully, had this trip happened a year ago I don’t know if we would have shared the same memories.
“Our move to Minnesota ten years ago was really hard on me. I missed my friends and losing my parents so close together didn’t help either. I found comfort in a lifestyle that wasn’t necessarily healthy. Your father and I have been talking about what we are going to do after retirement. He wants to spend time traveling, hiking, and living an active lifestyle and I wanted to be what, near restaurants? I knew that if your father and I wanted a happy retirement then I needed to get onboard. As my energy level keeps improving, your father has become more open to exploring new places with me-- like Scotland.”
Inspiration can be drawn from all corners of the world but her journey is not one to be overlooked. Acknowledging there needs to be a lifestyle change is hard, but making the change is even harder. Even though she isn’t where she wants to be just yet, words cannot express how proud I am of this woman.
She taught me that no matter where you are in life, it’s never too late to make a change. Not to mention, this new glow looks very good on her.