The Recollections series explores the myriad of emotions, memories, and changes I have experienced in response to losing my Mom, my children becoming adults, and the acceptance of middle age. Many mothers come to middle age with prospects of reclaiming the time and space they dedicated to their families. Suddenly your life becomes your own again, 20 plus years has passed and youth is gone. My mother passed away three years ago; far too young. I’m visiting with her in this series. This time has been one of re-collecting my memories and myself. Who were we before our family and culture groomed us with their expectations? One of the gifts of middle age is fully embracing who you are. Your shadows. Your light. Your regrets. Your blessings. Your limitations. And your gifts.