Today would have been my mother’s 78th birthday. As I sit in my darkened room and write this, I realize all the wonderful things that have happened since her death seven years ago. My children were truly children then…now both have graduated high school and moved on to college. While one just completed her first year, the other is starting her first year of graduate school. Mama believed in great educations…she married in her senior year of high school and within days of graduating had gone with my dad after his draft to Fort Breckenridge. A brilliant woman who never got to attend college herself, she was an excellent role model for us, teaching us independence and strength, just two traits among many she valued.
I am glad she wasn’t here to see the agony of my older sister’s fight with lung cancer. My sister was a lover of life. Strong-willed and determined, she could have done anything…yet had a very soft heart and an incredible love of laughter. My sister was diagnosed a year after Mama died…and lived almost a year fighting her own disease. Just a little time passed and we lost our dad. Sometimes I think he lost part of his will to be here after losing his wife and daughter so quickly.
Mama never got to meet some of her great-grandchildren. And she will never get to see all her grandchildren as they marry and start their own lives. I hope these children will learn some of the values Mama passed on to us…her legacy is a strong one.
She’d be proud that I continue to write. Of all those who have known me from childhood to adulthood, she was one who encouraged my dreams of becoming an author. I know she’d had goals as a young woman that she put aside to raise her family…and she was determined that my sisters and I know that whatever our circumstance, we should never give up on our dreams.
She died of ovarian cancer. It is a silent killer which quite often isn’t easily noticed until too much time has passed. Know the symptoms, know the way your body feels normally and listen to those silent hints it gives you when you have an inkling something could be wrong. Ladies, it is better to find it early and have it treated than to find it too late. I won’t preach of what you should and shouldn’t do…but do learn about this disease. Suggestions are…
She was my mother and she was my best friend. Happy Birthday Mama,