Friday, May 08, 2015

May 7th: It's Been Two Years Since...

It's May 7th, and all day long I kept thinking "Is it someone's birthday?", and, what is it I'm supposed to remember? And then, at approximately 9:30 tonight, I was aggravated at my husband, asking him to please sign Mother's Day cards for our sister-in-laws, and I was writing a note inside the first of several cards, and as I dated the card, I asked him "It's May 7th, right?" And when he said "Yes, it's the 7th..." I suddenly cried out, "Oh my God, this is the two-year anniversary of my Mom being diagnosed with was on this date, two years ago, that she called me and said "Lisa, it's cancer. I have cancer." May 7th, 2013, at 7:15 in the morning. Why should I care about the date? Because it is a day that changed my mother's life, forever. And it changed the trajectory of my life, too. She survived an initial prognosis of a few months, and beat back cancer for over 12 months. When it bloomed again, with numerous brain tumors returning, she fought back with new rounds of radiation. And survived awhile longer, albeit with greatly reduced "quality of life". So perhaps I'm grateful for May 7th, 2013, because if the diagnosis had come later, we'd have less success, we'd have had far less time, together. But cancer took away our future together; it robbed my mother of her career as a medical records specialist, it removed her from the gym where she loved to work out, she could no longer run every morning--or any morning-- it damaged out her ability to offer counsel to her adoring (and adored!) granddaughter, her penchant for gardening at her younger daughter's home--the home she'd become a part of, for nearly 5 years (she moved to Lake Worth, Florida in August 2008),it ruined the laughter she could easily share with both her daughters, the easy way mom had of making everyone else feel like the most important person in the room.... and it ultimately destroyed her ability to walk and talk. Cancer morphed my beloved mother into a child, and me, her caregiver in the time she had with me (up here in Atlanta), into a mother, myself. I'd never truly thought deeply about this, other than to accept the inevitability of our roles shifting. The unavoidable pain, and loss. Hers. Then mine. Mother's Day is fast approaching, and this year will be an open wound. As I sit here typing this, I think of how often I've promised myself I will tell my mother's story (her many stories), someday. I think that time has come. I'll begin a new chapter in the book of my life, soon. I am creating a foundation, in her honor, and in her name. Stay tuned. And if you are fortunate enough to have your Mom here on earth with you, enjoy those moments, because they will one day, be gone, forever. And it's always far too soon. Peace, kids.

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