As May and Mother’s Day rolls around each year, I’m always reminded of my grandmother and the lessons I learned from her both throughout my life and during her transition. To me, motherhood is about loving unconditionally, about guidance, about acceptance, and about making sacrifices when necessary.

As my grandmother was making her transition, I sat at her bedside with tears streaming down my face, unable to even process what I was witnessing. Seeing my distress, my grandmother gave my hand a weak squeeze, and when I wiped my eyes to see her face, she had this worried look I had only seen twice before, once when I was seventeen getting my tonsils removed, and four years prior when I was in labor with my oldest son. I could only muster a weak “I’m okay, ma” before my aunt led me out of the room and told me what I already knew; that my grandmother would not make her transition until she knew I would be okay without her, so I needed to tell her what she needed to hear to be at peace.