Marla is a Strong Mother Fluffer!

(Don’t worry, dear reader. Today’s post is short, optimistic, and will end with a “cuddly wuddly” lion cub photo from here in South Africa.)

I am one strong, strong, STRONG mother fluffer.

And I don’t just mean that I can now bench press 99 pounds (45kg for my new African friends), or that I still refuse to wear deodorant unless I’m getting gussied up (and I rarely gussy).

It’s because of who I’ve become.

I’ve been dreading this July 19th. It has always been a rough day for me. 26 years ago today, my dad dropped dead on a Las Vegas sidewalk of a coronary. I was sixteen and living with him that summer. I was supposed to go jogging with him that morning and, like a typical teenager, blew it off in favor of sleep.

19 years ago today, my second pregnancy was confirmed at the doctor’s office. We celebrated like crazy, believing that finding out on the anniversary of Dad’s death was fate. It was not. None of my pregnancies would end up going to term.

More than usual I worried about today, because I’m working on this manuscript, revising specifically these sections on loss and formative events.

But you know what? I wouldn’t change one traumatic, terrifying, defining moment of my life, because it has made me unique (or, “strange,” depending on who you ask, but I’m okay with that), independent, adventurous, insightful, and (did I mention?)…a very strong woman!

Here’s to the hard memories, and especially for my readers who have been through the worst of it. Because once you make it through the grief which feels like it will have no end, you will arrive at a day you realize you have survived, and that you are immeasurably stronger than the person you were.

May your heartbreaks and hardship make you one strong, strong, STRONG mother fluffer!

Love, Marla

P.S. Here’s that lion cub, as promised. This photo was taken at the Lion and Rhino Reserve in Krugersdorp, South Africa. We are finally going to Kruger National Park this August (TENTING, even!) and I can’t wait to bring you back photos and stories of our trip. (Don’t worry, I will not be cuddling anything wilder than Kurt in that South African wonderland!)

travel Africa adventure tourism expat life Pretoria
Me and Mr. Growlypants. Look. at. those. PAWS!!

11 thoughts on “Marla is a Strong Mother Fluffer!

  1. Those cubs are cute beyond words…..AND your words today hit home…thanks! Enjoy your adventure 🙂

  2. I was always impressed by the “grownups” at funerals when I was a kid, thinking how emotionally powerful they must be to be so openly social at a time like that…Amazing how we become so much better able to cope with those things as we experience more of them. I always worry I’ll become too jaded, and have others think me uncaring or something! Miss you dad!
    Love you sis!

    1. Marla and Jeff,
      I confess that I am rarely conscious of the impending anniversary. However invariably I find thoughts of the two of you surfacing. Many years I have called Marla on the 19th, to have her remind me of the date. I have been wishing international calling were not so expensive because I wanted to talk to Marla often this week. Then Jeff texted me, and I thought, wow, what a coincidence… I have been thinking about him, too.
      Then last night, when I was heading out to the concert and noted the date, suddenly I understood – there are no coincidences.
      Jeff, I think I know what causes a person to be or become jaded. It is when your brain stops listening to your heart. I think I was born jaded, and it is something BOTH Mom and Dad recognized. You, my big-hearted siblings will never be jaded. Because neither of you will ever stop listening to your hearts, and neither number of sorrows nor the passage of time will change that about you.
      Love you both

  3. A strong mothertrucker indeed.
    I admire you, no bs, since the day I first read “My ethics, my blog!” I thought to myself: “I like how she rolls”

    Ps: Just so you know, you have planted the seed, now I’m looking for a travel partner to go down there, hard to find because everybody travels over summer and I’m not free till mid September.

  4. There was a story on the news today of the couple who had been through the theater shootings in Colorado last year getting married on the one year anniversary of the shootings in order to “take back the date” and make it into a positive memory instead of the terrifying one they had. I wish you a wonderful memory today that helps to take back the date. I so love and admire your strength.

  5. Awww…Mr. Growlypants is in ecstacy. You are a mother fluffer for sure. Sensitive to the needs of little tykes and heart as strong as a lion. Mother yourself today. Bigtime!

  6. Sending you extra hugs to day! Just promise not to squeeze me too tightly with those beastly arms of yours…..99 pounds?! Wow!!!! I hope you don’t have the need to put any wild animals in a choke hold, but I bet you could if you HAD to…..just sayin’. Ha!

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