In today’s age, it’s great to be a woman. I consider it an honor. So many have dedicated their time and struggled to overcome the challenges of a male-dominated world. And for that I consider women to be blessed. To have the ability to be whatever I want is sweet bliss.

Growing up without a mom was hard. Well, I didn’t necessarily grow up without one. My mother passed away in what would be the most critical years of my life. My freshman year of high school I was without my best friend. Leukemia had chosen to take her. But I cannot be mad at this even though sometimes I feel I should. She had always influenced me “to do what you love” which has inspired me to pursue my dreams and major in English. I have always loved writing and hopefully one day, you will come across my name on a shelf in a bookstore. Or on your “tablet” screen in the future.

My mom has always been my role model and even though she’s gone, I still consider it my goal to impress her with my accomplishments. During high school, you deal with many challenges and changes. I was a late bloomer so puberty was great. It was hard without my mom. I had my sisters, grandma, and friends to lean on during those changes but it would have been a lot easier with my mom. I remember when everything started happening and I just wanted to cry because my best friend, my mother, was not there in person to help me. When school dances such as Homecoming, Junior prom, and Senior prom came along the one person I wanted to be there shopping with me the most was my mom. It seemed like all the other girls were shopping with their mothers. Things happen in life for a reason, though. Yes, I’ve had to overcome special “mother-daughter” moments in life.

To be honest, every day is a struggle. My entire will for my major revolves around the encouragement from my mother. It’s so difficult not having that role model right in front of you. People come and go in your life, whether it’s on purpose or not. My mother has shown me that she is always with me. I may not be able to see her as I graduate from college, obtain my Masters, walk down the aisle, have children, and so many more of life’s adventures. But I know she will be there in spirit. Best friends back then and always.

(This article was originally seen in The Women’s Issue – a digital magazine we create in celebration of Women’s History Month.)