As a young child my mom faced the loneliness of living apart from her divorced parents. She struggled growing up to achieve success in a world torn apart by World War II.
Without the proper role models she raised three successful daughters who learned from her how to not give up, how to do something that is seen perhaps as selfish like hiding candy in her top dresser drawer as a gift to herself when times were tough, and how to bounce back from adversity. Breast cancer was first diagnosed in 1980 when she had just separated from my stepfather. She thought she had successfully beat it until twenty-five years later she discovered it had been lurking under the surface wreaking havoc on her body. Not even a week after celebrating her 80th birthday she was diagnosed with metastasized breast cancer. She was told she would live maybe two weeks to a month. Just when we were told the end was near she decided she was not ready to die. She woke up and wanted to go on a picnic. She moved into an assisted living facility taking each day as a new lease on life. She went shopping, went out to eat, and continued to enjoy what comforts she could. Mom died 5 and ½ months after her diagnosis. We had a couple from the dance studio where she took lessons do a breathtaking waltz at her memorial service. Now that I have been diagnosed with colon cancer, like her and like her mother before her, I remember how she taught me to look at what I can learn from my situation, to reach out to others who are worse off than I am, and to enjoy life no matter what. I hope to one day leave the same legacy for my children that life is a precious gift to be fully lived each day, one day at a time. Thanks mom and Happy Mother’s Day.