Today is the first Mother’s Day without my mother. I’d be lying if I said that this truth doesn’t bother me. But I know my mother would not want me to dwell on the fact that she is no longer with us. So in the spirit of her memory, please indulge me while I try and honor the person and the mother she was to me.
Supermom To The Rescue!
While I’m sure almost everyone views their mom as a superhero, I’m pretty sure mine truly was. Not only did she raise 6 children (with a 20 year spread between the oldest and the youngest) but she had to deal with hardships I would never wish upon my worst enemies.
Burying a child is something no parent should ever have to do. Unfortunately, my parents lost my 3rd oldest brother to leukemia when he was 3. But my mother never let this horrible event break her. She reminded me every time she talked about Michael how grateful she was that his participation in research studies helped lead to an eventual cure for his form of cancer.
As if this wasn’t enough for one person to endure, my mother also struggled with health issues of her own. In her early 50’s she was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, which she beat with a superhuman grace and cheerfulness. In fact, had she not shown any outward signs of radiation and chemotherapy, I’m not sure anyone would have noticed she was even sick.
Adding to her heroism, a few years later she suffered 2 heart attacks within 6 months of each other. But did my mother ever complain about these setbacks? No sir! Not her. Not even once. I don’t know how she did it, but she always found a way to keep a smile, and do it while raising 6 kids and countless grandchildren.
Supermom Finds Her Kryptonite
Unfortunately, every superhero encounters their weakness. My mom’s came in the form of brain cancer. She passed away in November at the age of 73.
When she found out that she had cancer, again, she knew her time was coming to an end. But it was amazing to see how she accepted her fate with the same dignity and grace she had shown earlier in her life. It might as well been her modus operandi. She told all my relatives how grateful she was to have had such a wonderful life. She was so grateful that she beat cancer, the first time, allowing her to live an additional 23 years. And in that time she was able to see her kids grow up and find the loves of their lives. This additional time also allowed her to meet 13 of her grandkids. But most importantly, she was grateful that she was able to spend her last few months on this earth with the ones she loved.
Moving On Without You
I have thought of my mom often over the last few months. But today is hard. I think the only day that has been harder for me is the day I found out my mom died. There’s so much that I wish I could still share with her. It pains me that she never got a chance to meet my sweet little girl and that she won’t be able to see my kids grow up. What I wouldn’t give to be able to call her up to ask her for advice regarding how to best parent my kids. But what is hardest is when I catch myself making a mental note of something I am excited to tell her about. (Sigh…)
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I don’t want to dwell on my sorrow today. I’d much rather spread cheer and joy to as many people as possible, like my mother would have wanted. So in the spirit of trying to do this, I ask those of you who still have your mother with you to give her a call, or pay her a visit, and give her a big hug for me. Tell her you love her and that you appreciate all she has done, and still does, for you. And then find a way to be the positive role model my mother was for me for your children; because, I’m pretty sure that’s what my mother would have wanted. After all, she always said the one thing she always knew she wanted to be in this life was a mother. And I can say without any reservation that she was the best.