My mom was my greatest champion, an endless supporter, my biggest fan, and my best friend. I think back to the challenges she faced raising kids for many years as a single mother. At times, we didn’t have spare cash to get the toys and ‘luxuries’ the other kids had. But, we always had a firm foundation.

My mom taught us with encouragement, never entertaining the word ‘impossible,’ but rather telling us anything we dreamed was within our reach. Through example, she taught me how to be a strong businesswoman by reinventing herself as many times as necessary to support our family. She innovated when innovation wasn’t a trend.

She instilled in me a priceless moral compass that I come back to every day to guide my decisions. She brought me up with faith much bigger than any obstacle put in front of me. All of these lessons are valuable beyond compare, but there’s one in particular I’ll never forget.

It was Thanksgiving Day 2005 and my family was gathered, waiting for my mom to arrive so our celebration could begin. She never made it. My mom was in a fatal car accident on her way to my home; just two months shy of her 51st birthday. The loss of my mother was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. My mom was a firm believer in ‘everything happens for a reason,’ and while I struggled to understand what the reason could possibly be for this tragedy, I attempted to make sense of it and find the lesson in the midst of my grief.

Through her passing, the biggest lesson my mom unintentionally taught me was that life is short and to not put off until tomorrow what your heart is telling you to do today. Don’t wait for the perfect day to pursue your dream. Don’t wait for retirement to travel. Don’t miss out on priceless family moments. Don’t miss an opportunity to tell someone how much they mean to you. Don’t miss a chance to build someone up; you may be their only champion that day or in that moment. We often live today like it’s just another day and tomorrow we can try again, but there’s no guarantee that we have tomorrow.

Many years ago, I created a bucket list – a list of things I wanted to do in my lifetime – and I update this list every year. A bucket list typically includes things that seem out of reach, so they’re moved to a ‘someday’ category. Through the last lesson my mom taught me, my someday has become today. I’ve taken all the things in my bucket list and have been making them a reality – one by one. This Mother’s Day, I’ll take another look at my bucket list and the amazing things I’ve been able to bring to life over the last year. Then I’ll make a plan on how to bring forward those someday items. #NoRegrets