October 31–end of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The last day of the month my Mom was born in. It also happens to be the day I met my late husband. And this year, it’s also the time of ongoing treatment for two of my dearest friends dealing with “that c-word thing” we’re supposed to be very “aware” of this month.
Mom died in 1990 at the age of 52. Of breast cancer. She left behind a husband, two daughters (32 and 30), a son (21), and three granddaughters (7, 5, and 2) who adored her. She was far from perfect (and would have been the first to tell you so!), but was a perfectly wonderful mother and friend. Watching her die from this awful beast of a disease was the hardest thing I’d ever done–the cancer spread throughout her body and by the time she “came home to die”, she had seventeen distinct brain tumors, had had a couple of strokes, and was bedridden the last weeks of her life. It was horrendous.
That is the bad part that I remember. In the American Cancer Society‘s Relay for Life, they tell us with their tag line to “Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.” It’s impossible NOT to remember. But I want to CELEBRATE my mother’s life, rather than merely remember the pain of the last months she endured. She was my mother and became my best friend by the time I reached adulthood. She was a doting grandmother when my nieces came along. She was fun, and funny, and seldom complained about anything. She was one of the strongest women I’ve ever known. I am proud to be her daughter.
And so I remember. And I celebrate. AND, working with Relay, I FIGHT BACK. I believe my mother would be proud that her children and grandchildren are involved with a cause that works so hard in research–to find new medicines, new chances for cures, new hope. Mom donated her body for research; the least I can do is donate my time and effort to raise money to fight this thing that killed her. Mom didn’t have enough birthdays…but I know she’d be happy that I’m working to help create a world with more of them for all the ones she left behind.
Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today. And, please, give all that you can to help fight breast–and all–cancers. Your money, your time, your effort–every little bit helps. –Terri