Nicole Horvitz

I think my journey started with the death of my mom on August 17, 2006 (11:30) – she was 47, I was 23.

I had just graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a BS in Urban and Regional Planning, in June of ’06. Was frantically looking for a job in northern Cali to be close to my mom.

I had submitted my applications to various cities in the bay area. While my parents were visiting grandma and poppa in Palo Alto, I was also there. My mom and I went to city halls to check them out (both places I had applied to).

About a month later I was at grandma’s again for interviews with two cities. I interviewed for one and was offered it the same day! But, I held off because I still had to interview for the other city. The night before interview, my dad called and said, come up, your mom isn’t going to make it though the weekend. The cancer had overtaken her efforts to defeat it.

My world as I knew it shattered. I collapsed to the kitchen floor, crying. My grandfather, who had physical problems, got on the floor with me, and held me.

Thanks to my aunt, I was able to get to Eureka, after driving all night, the next morning.

My dad preps me for the sight I am about too see. My mom, in the hospital bed, machines, tubes, nurses, meds, etc…

Because my mom was loved by the hospital staff, she was able to have a room to herself. We took turns pushing her pain medication for her while she slept. She would wake up randomly and say the strangest things…”5,000 dollars”; we would say that is just her brain talking.

While the family visited her, to say their goodbyes, I did a phone interview with the remaining city, because I couldn’t’t make the in person interview. Aced it 🙂

After a few days, she was gone. Her body was a shell. I remember the moment, my aunt, sister and I were driving back into the hospital, the song by Rascal Flatts “my wish” came on the radio, and I felt her leave this world to the higher kingdom.

She left with a happy heart, and knowing how much we loved her, and that we would be ok.

I sat there thinking, how am I going to do this? How am I going to make this on my own? I can’t even decide how to get my hair done without asking her…I would call her 4-5 times a day, even sometimes just to ask her where something would be in the grocery store. How would I make it though this life without my best friend, my guide, my teacher, MY MOTHER? Who is going to help me with my wedding, who is going to be there when I have babies?? Why would god take someone so important and necessary to my life away??? How am I going to survive (as selfish as it sounds)?

“Why” was/is the biggest unknown question.

My dad and sister helped me pack up my college apartment and move in to the house in that my dad and mom shared prior to her death…within weeks, I had a job with the city.

Moved down to the Bay Area, and started my career. I couldn’t make it though the day without at some point, or multiple times, in tears, mainly when I went home, alone.

This led to me drinking, daily, and eating what “felt good”, and not taking care of myself. Along with being in bad relationships without the support I needed, I was not a happy person. I felt lost, empty, a giant hole in my heart, and depressed. This lasted for four years…

December 31, 2010, I said, that’s it! You’re done being a depressed person, you don’t need someone to pull you out of this depression, you MUST do it for you, for your future, for your future husband, babies. I said to myself, your mother would not approve of this life at all!

January 3, 2011, joined a new gym and signed up with a trainer. By far, best decision of my life. At first the goal was to loose weight. The weight started coming off, quicker then I had imagined, but at the same time not quick enough.

I found myself thinking differently, my mind, and heart were changing along with my body. I was becoming stronger in all aspects. Stopped drinking, stopped taking anti-depressants, and started eating healthy and started feeling good.

Now, 35 lbs off of my 5’1″ frame and stronger than ever, my goal is to compete and place, in a figure competition spring 2012.

I love working out, I love the natural high I get from it, and how awesome my body and mind are feeling. I love that getting compliments from people at the gym, that I do not know, who see me daily at a5 am, and see how hard I am working.

For now, I am used to my chicken and broccoli diet. Yes people tease me about it, but, I am going to achieve something that average people do not attempt.

I am average, but I want to be AWSOME!

So after four long years, I have finally come out of the depression of my mom’s death, and that happened for me, by taking charge of ME, investing in ME, taking time for ME.

I still ask why, but I know, she would not have been happy with they lifestyle I was living. And I KNOW now, she is smiling down on me, cheering me on as I push though my trainer increasing my weights, or the HIIT workouts on the Cybex, and watching me eat my chicken and broccoli J

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“Just living is not enough” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

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