As my first year of high school flies by, I realize that recently I have simply been feeling lost. Lost in the sense of I do not know who I am or who I’m supposed to be. 

As I enjoy trying to make sense of my feelings, I’ve been pondering about why this is. I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe it is because of the loss of my mom. Over the past five years, I have strived to be similar to who my mom was, in an attempt to reconnect. But as I grow older, as I face newer challenges, I become scared that I don’ t know as much about her as I should. I was 8 years old when my mom got sick, when I stopped being able to go through everyday life with her. I was 10 when I lost her for good. Surely, less than a decade is not enough time to get to know everything about a person.

It is because of this limited amount of time we spent together that I feel I know such a limited amount of information about the person children are supposed to be closest to.

Regardless of this feeling, there are things I do know. I will always know that she was an exceptionally selfless woman. That she gave so much to my brother and I and expected nothing in return. That she gave countless hours to all the kids at my elementary school trying to create a drama program. That before she had me, she was a teacher and helped her students who had hard home lives in any way that she could, giving them consistent support and care. She was a nurturer, for sure. At least that much, I do know.

But I feel almost ashamed to think that there are so many more things that I should know. There are stories I should be hearing. I should know about the story of her first relationship. I should be hearing the crazy things she would do with her friends in high school. I should know her favorite book, her childhood crush, her opinions on world issues. Whereas this feeling is still heart wrenching, it is different than sadness. It is almost a kind of embarrassment. Not embarrassment to others that I don’t know these things but an embarrassment to my mother. I love her so much, yet I find myself questioning the extent of what I know about her. 

In the midst of feeling this certain kind of pain but telling no one, something remarkable happened. I had the chance to have a peek at what my mom was like first hand – I found poems and essays written by my mother herself!!

Well, technically I didn’t find these things but my dad did and gave them to me to read. What an incredible opportunity to get to know my mom a bit more! As I’m writing this and processing this, I can’t help but think that it was no coincidence these writings were found at a time I was struggling most – that it was sent to me from a higher power in a time of need. After all, everything happens for a reason, right? That’s a whole other story, but feel free to read more about that concept here!

The oddest thing that still baffles me, is that even with feeling this way for a long time, it took me months to round up the courage to actually read these papers. And I ask myself, what were you afraid of? And I quite honestly am not sure. Was I afraid of reconciling with my feelings? That is the closest thing I can give to an answer. 

But after hours of shedding tears because of this particular feeling, I knew that what I needed most were some words from my mommy. And so I reached under my vinyl record player where I was keeping the papers and carefully took them out.

At the top of the pile, written in beautifully neat handwriting, were the words, “Autobiography, Lorraine Scibetti ”. As I read this my heart skips a beat, for I’m nervous but mainly excited to keep reading. While reading I learned that this was a sort of essay she wrote to get into masseuse school, as my mom in addition to being an actress, teacher and mom was a massage therapist. In it, she talks of how she believes the mind, body and spirit should come together as one and how it is a personal goal of her’s to contribute to the wellness of society. She also explains how she has a special interest in working with people with disabilities and the elderly. Wow. Her kindness almost flies off the page. As I sit here re-reading this paper, I feel inspired to set such kind goals of my own. 

After reading this, I find under the pile something very different than a formal essay. I find a paper with messy, scribbled on letters, crossed out and re-written. And then I realized, I have found a poem my mom wrote, filled with imagery, attitude, and beauty. I am speechless. As I dive in to read more, I find myself in awe of the amazing words she is able to portray about sticking up for yourself. Once again, I’m inspired, but this time I’m inspired to stay strong and not let others tear me down. 

That is at least my interpretation of this absolutely beautiful poem called, Images, by none other than my mother, Lorraine Mazzola…

Strength and Kindness. These are the two themes I gather. Kindness from her essay of wanting to help others and strength from this amazing poem. 

Re-reading all of these papers I feel honored to be this amazing woman’s daughter. I am honored to be given such a powerful message by the woman who matters most…and given to me from beyond, I might add. I feel a glimpse of hope that this honor will someday replace the shame of not knowing enough. I sometimes carry.

And I thank my mom, for giving me these papers to cherish in her memory. I thank her for the lessons she taught me on earth, and I thank her now and always for lessons she continues to teach me every day.

Liv Mazz, aka The Lone Teen, is a suburban 13-year-old living with her father, brother and Havanese puppy. She is an eighth grader who enjoys spending time with friends in downtown Westfield NJ.

When not hanging out with her friends, you can find her dancing up a storm at her longtime dance school, running lines to audition for her next show or singing a ballad on stage. Liv also loves to spend time with her giant Italian family by enjoying a Sunday dinner and great conversation. She cannot wait to begin sharing her story as a not-so-average teen and is super excited to be a brand new addition to The Daily Feels.

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