Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mother

My mother was the youngest of 5 for about 10 years or so. Until she was dethroned by my Uncle.  I suppose that's when the fighter in her came out. Not too long after she was getting in fights at school. Then came running away from home. Oh buck up, it's not all bad. She met my dad that night. Love and marriage later she had 2 kids. (me being the youngest) His family didn't really like her. Was it because she was 13 years younger than him? Who knows. (i'm being sarcastic, of COURSE it's because she was so young) She really had to fight to prove herself though. I guess when they realized she wasn't going anywhere they softened to her. Not by much, but some.

Roughly 10 years later my grandmother lost her battle with breast cancer. My mother lost her mother. It was a dark time and I remember it well. It is the only time I have ever seen my mother defeated.

She eventually got the wind back in her sails, but 5 years later a terrible accident happened to my father. It left him with permanent, severe brain damage. My mother was stoic in the face of this tragedy. She kept her head up, she fought for my father and stood by his side. She fought.

It couldn't have been easy. To see the man you love turned into a man you don't know can be very, very difficult. I imagine. But she continued to fight until she realized things could never, and would never be like they were before. Her decision to try to start a new life was not an easy one I imagine. They divorced. She now needed to fight for herself.

And so a new life she began. Regaining strength and momentum. But all good things must to come to an end and her life began to unravel, and she was struck with breast cancer. I had just brought my youngest daughter home from the hospital (when she was born she was in the NICU for 10 days. I brought her home on June 20th, my mother's birthday) when she told me, in person. Since my mother lives on the opposite end of the state, and I had a fragile newborn and a 2 year old to look after,  I was unable to be with her through that difficult process. Maybe those were just excuses I made.
When my mother was going through her battle with cancer  I was terrified. I was afraid to see her like that, afraid to see her suffering, and afraid I wouldn't be as strong as she was.

She lived with her brother and his wife. They took care of her, supported her, and loved her. My aunt went with my mother to every one of her appointments. I don't think I've ever properly thanked my Aunt and Uncle, and I don't think I ever really could.

My mother fought and she fought. She wasn't going to let cancer get the best of her, because she was stronger now. And she won. She got her life back in more ways than one.
She has been cancer free for 4 years now.

My mother has taught me how to be strong. How to fight. How to stand up to the darkness, the pain and the hurt. Because the more you fight the stronger you become.

I love my mother for so many reasons. I love her hugs, her cooking (hold the salt), her strength, and her ability to love and love and love. You can literally see the love oozing out of her when she looks at her grandchildren, her children, her siblings, when she thinks of her mother, and mostly, when she smiles.
I love you mom. I consider every day that I have you here on earth a blessing.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and memories! This really helped me connect with you and your mom again!
    I love you bunches! Jacki Mae