When LUNA bar reached out to me about this year’s LUNAFEST and a woman game changer in my life, I thought it would be easy to write but it actually proved rather difficult. My mother Theresa is the woman game changer of my life no contest and I wasn’t sure I wanted to talk about her on the blog again. But then I thought if she were still alive, I would probably talk about her even more. She might’ve actually co-blogged with me, so then I put my hesitation to the side and started to write this post.
You know, it’s really hard to believe that my mother has been gone almost half my life. Even though I feel her void everyday – and some days more than others, there is so much around me to remind me that she was a game changer. I could go on and on about how wonderful of a woman she was and how she is the inspiration behind my blog (the “Theresa Deal” is a thing because of her bargain shopping) but one part of her that I have grown a larger respect for as I’ve gotten older is how she always put family first. She loved, loved, loved our family with everything in her. She was the baby of the bunch, but seemed to always be taking care of or helping guide another. When she was struggling to take care of me and to also look after her independent but aging mother, she relocated her grandmother who had early onset Alzheimer’s to California to live with us so she wouldn’t have to go into a nursing home. I was nine years old when this happened and while it seemed like it was a fairly manageable lifestyle since I never wanted for anything, in hindsight, I don’t know how the hell she did it! I would say with strength, patience, prayer and a good support system. Sometimes I run into old friends of hers and they each have a special story that they share about her from during that time. She was a game changer for them, too.
About a year before her death, she made some pivotal moves in her life to start taking care of herself more. It always hurt me that right when she had a chance to do what she wanted to do, she passed away. I’d confide in family members and close family friends about this, and despite us all agreeing that her life was cut too short, they remind me of all of the things she did before I came along. She always lived by her rules. She travelled. She was in a band. She had fun. Then she decided to slow it down, and that’s when she decided she wanted to be a mother. My mother. She would call it the best adventure of her life. And I know this because it’s in writing.
She still inspires me, and I’m proud that my mom is amongst a group of women game changers in the world. It makes me happy to know that LUNAFEST is all about celebrating and inspiring women through film by showcasing courageous and interesting stories that may not have had a chance to shine…the stories of game changers. Maybe it’s your mother, or a neighbor, or someone you’ve never even met. If you didn’t know, LUNAFEST is put on by LUNA Bar, the whole nutrition bar for women. Over the past 14 years, LUNAFEST has raised 2.5 million dollars to date for the Breast Cancer Fund and other nonprofits around the country. This season, LUNAFEST will reach over 150 cities to showcase women game changers in film. You don’t want to miss it when it comes to your city. Check out the list of events, and be sure to watch the LUNAFEST trailer, too.
I’d also love to hear who the woman game changer in your life is. Leave her name in the comments.
Many thanks to LUNA Bar for sponsoring today’s story. And thank you for supporting the brands that support the blog.