Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Memories of Mom




As I pulled in the driveway tonight when I got home from work, I stopped to check the mail box.  I grabbed the mail and set it on the seat beside me.  I had a lot to do when I got in--put the groceries away, feed the dog, start the laundry, get supper cooked.  I had a long day at school today and a technology workshop afterward til 5:45 p.m. and I was tired.

I sat down a few minutes ago to look through the mail.  Among the ads and junk mail, I saw the familiar logo of my endoscopy center.  I opened the letter with a little uneasiness.  It can't be time for another colonoscopy already!  Of course, it's been five years since my last procedure.

My birthday was this past Friday on March 1st.  I'm now 48 years old.  My mom had been diagnosed with colon cancer at age 47.  I have been going through colonoscopies since I was 36.  My doctor has told me that it takes ten to twelve years for polyps in the colon to become cancerous.  Each time I undergo the procedure, I think of my mom.  She suffered a great deal in her two year fight against the disease.  When her cancer was detected she was already in the latter stages.  The doctors knew it was just a matter of time. She was given two months to live at the time of  her diagnosis. She decided to let the doctors at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland try some experimental treatments to try to help others with cancer.

My lived for over two years after the cancer was found.  She passed away at the age of 50.  She instilled in my brothers and me the importance of taking care of each other.  She taught us there is no greater calling than service to others.  She was not able to meet my children, but I think she would be proud of them.  I have tried to share with my kids the core values that she taught us.

As I look at some of the home situations of my students, I realize what a wonderful gift she gave her family.  She shaped the lives of each of us--my three brothers and me--and countless others because of all the people the four of us touch every day.  If my sons look back at me with as much thankfulness as I do my mom, I will feel like I have made her proud.

Tomorrow I will call to set my appointment time for my colonoscopy.  I hope to be around to see my own children's babies grow up.  I only wish my mom could have been here to see mine.  I think she would have been very proud of them.

11 comments:

  1. For you, it's the colonoscopy. For me, it's a mammogram and diabetes testing. Make the appointment. I'll make mine

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    1. I will call tomorrow. I'll check in with you and be sure you made your appointment too. We'll keep each other honest. :)

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  2. I'm glad your mom was such a wonderful woman. My sister died at age 40 of breast cancer. I celebrate her fight every time I have a mammogram or tell someone else to go regularly!

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    1. Thanks, Lori. I know exactly what you mean. I make my appointment to celebrate my mom. You are a credit to your sister's memory.

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  3. What a loving tribute. It is clear that all the best of your mother lives on through you and your siblings. It is not a pretty experience, but you honor your mother, your children, yourself by taking care of you. Good for you.

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    1. I always tell myself that it will be over in a very short while compared to the years my mom had to endure. Thank you for your kindness.

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  4. You put a face on the reason why I bear these uncomfortable procedures. I will remember your story when it comes time for the various tests. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Elsie. She would be happy to know she was helping remind you to take care of yourself so you can be around for as long as possible to enjoy your life and your family.

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  5. Your mother sounds like she was a wonderful, strong woman... which totally makes sense to me because I have had the honor to be your colleague and to become your friend for the past four years. Her lessons taught to you and your brothers are valuable beyond words. Thanks for sharing... :)

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  6. Thanks,Ro. She was a wonderful lady and I hope I would have the ability to face a terrible situation with the same grace she showed.

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