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  • Writer's pictureCelia Rose

Untold Stories II - My Mom, Olivia

The next person in my Untold Stories series is my own mother, Olivia. I feel very lucky to be able to consider my mom to be one of my closest friends and confidants. Many of my interests and inspirations stem from things my mom introduced me to. Most of my favorite songs, authors, shows, movies were originally recommendations from my mom or at the very least, tangentially related to something she suggested.

I champion my mom’s story tonight because it is through her strength, perseverance, and support that I am here today. My mom had me when she was eighteen years old and in a way we grew up together. As I got older, I got to see my mom grow, learn, and evolve alongside me.

When I was in high school considering college options, my mom decided to go to grad school. She spent many days and nights studying and attending classes to get her masters in clinical social work. I got to watch her do that. Before I ever considered trying out for the rowing team when I went to KU, my mom was becoming a runner. Sometimes I’d go out and run the 1.4 mile loop tucked in the neighborhood near our house in Minnesota with her, but never catch her.

When I became a rower, my mom became a marathoner. When I wasn’t a rower anymore, she helped me become a runner. We ran a half together, then she said, “well now, don’t you want to run a full marathon?”

She’s helped me manage and learn about my mental health and understand my dreams. Her love of Phantom of the Opera, Ray Bradbury, her own jokes, and Leo, our sphynx cat, are iconic facets of her identity. They are loves she shared with me that shaped the way I write and create.

As a young adult it is easy to see now that so much of me comes from my mother. She is an excellent writer and even better editor with a knack for clarifying my messy ideas and developing her own. Nothing has brought me more joy than getting to pitch her my newest story idea and having her come back at me with her own. She is an incredibly strong runner whose speed and dedication to her sport through injury, plateaus, and pain has inspired me to get up and run again, even when I don’t want to. She is the definition of a warrior. She has defeated every roadblock she has encountered to make it to another day, to show up for me and our family, to give her heart and soul to the things she loves.

I am who I am because of my mom and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.

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