First of all, Happy St. Valentine’s Day to you all. Tell your loved ones you love them and all that jazz 🙂 I told mine, got the girls little bears and pDaddy his gifts from the girls & from me. I got my flowers…lots and lots of red, white and pink tulips. Somehow he knew I didn’t want roses, that’s my pDaddy 🙂 We’re finally reading each other better. So yes, even though I’m not all into this “holiday”, I guess I understand why people need reminders – like moi.
But, bigger than all that, today is my Mom’s 23rd Anniversary. The following is usually what I send to friends and family when I try to get donations for the Revlon Run/Walk.
February 14th is known to many around the world as Valentine’s Day, but for our family, this date is significant for another reason and will forever be etched in our minds as the date mom went to the hospital so the doctors could perform surgery – February 14, 1985. They have to do this to mommy so they can “remove the bad stuff in her body” and “make her feel better” – as explained to me, a 7 year old in the first grade. I had no idea how serious this was back then and when I started to finally realize the gravity of it all, I didn’t even think she would make it to my 8th grade graduation.
Before this disease, my mom was a religious, family oriented, smart, beautiful, hard-working, diligent, always worked overtime, aerobic crazed, marathon-running, barely ever without make-up and always looked her best before stepping out of the house kind of a woman (nothing wrong with any of that). I can come up with more positive adjectives, but I think you catch my drift. Afterwards, she focused more and more on religion and family than ever before and less on work or having to always look her best. She instilled even more values and her “new” or “stronger” views on family, religion, etc. on us and helped us sort out our priorities and views. She would sit or lay there telling us her corny jokes to keep OUR spirits up while she was the one suffering. She sounded like she was strong and out and about, but in reality, I remember she was very frail and sickly…
I still have vivid memories of going w/her and my dad to her chemo appointments. As soon as she stepped foot into the doctor’s office, she went straight to the bathroom to vomit b/c of the smell…I remember her balding and having to buy a wig…I remember her trying to get a perm when her hair was finally growing back – to make it look thicker – only to hear her scream in agony b/c the chemicals were burning her scalp.
After a few more check-ups later that summer, multiple doctors kept telling her she had 6 months to live…Forget my 8th graduation, she wouldn’t even make my First Communion the following year! Of course, mom had to prove everyone (including the doctors) wrong, as always 🙂 Don’t know how, exactly, but that’s mom for ya! We all think it has a lot to do with her strong faith, determination and newfound outlook on life. It is now over 20 years later and she is still good ol’ mom, proving everyone wrong and that “mother knows best”, donning less make-up, but more beautiful than ever because her beauty radiates from within.
In honor of my beautiful, strong-willed, dedicated, smart, independent, [insert any and all positive adjectives you can think of here] breast cancer survivor of a mother, I usually participate in the Annual Revlon Run/Walk For Women in hopes that we can keep raising enough money to fund research…Hopefully, one day, there will be a cure so that no one will have to go through what my mom and all the other women have endured in dealing with this disease. This year, however, the Run/Walk is the same as my niece’s First Communion. So, I will participate in a different walk instead and will post details later.
So to all your loved ones, share your hugs and kisses. Share your loving memories. I don’t agree to the “hallmark-i-ness” of this Holiday, but I’ll take it as a reminder of love and obviously, more. Hoping you do the same 😀