My Ultimate Inspiration Comes From My Best Friend.

My dad let both my big brother and I share a short something in my mama’s honor before he gave the eulogy at herย memorial service. My brother told a great story– he has an awesome gift of being able to make people laugh, insanely, despite life’sย darkest moments– it moved the audience and also, of course, had them chuckling. The big guy, who’s now a softwareย developer by day and stand-up comedian by night, credited my mama for buying him his first comedy magazine, Mad Magazine. He was home sick one day as a kid and she returned home from errands with medicine, soup and the magazine that sparkedย hisย love forย comedy. She rocked at the doin’ the mom thang. I chose to read a part of a script from my mama and I’s favorite TV show, Gilmore Girls. Weird… I know. It was a segment from theย speech given by the daughter, Rory, at her character’s high school graduation. And, it perfectly describes my mom. I’d used it before in tons ofย captions for pictures of usย onย Facebook and Instagram.

It felt right to read this in front of a church full of people who knew and lovedย my mama.

“But my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the dazzling woman from whom I received my initialsย and my lifeโ€™s blood, Susan Maynard Doan. My mother never gave me any idea that I couldnโ€™t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Carole King. As she guided me through these incredibleย twenty-fourย years, I donโ€™t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her. Thank you, Mom: you are my guidepost for everything.”

Happy Birthday To My Bad Mama Jama.

Today marks exactly one year since my mama‘s stage-4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

It also would have been her birthday.

Today is bitter-sweet at its very core.

It also calls for joy.

A photo posted by stephrosedoan (@stephrosedoan) on Feb 12, 2015 at 2:47pm PST

Happy Birthday, Mama Goose! I’m so v. thankful we were able to talk you into the silliness of celebrating your “Halfy Birthday!” Not only was it the day you turned a 1/2 year older but it also marked 6-months of fighting cancer like a bad Mama Jama. I am so proud of you! Thank you for being my world, my moon, my guiding star and my entire galaxy for 24 years.