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Even after 28 years, I still miss you, mom!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

To say my mom and I had a rocky relationship would not even begin to describe what my childhood was like. Without dragging too many skeletons out of the closet, I will leave it at my mom had her demons and they most definitely controlled her life for way too long. As a child, you have no clue why the world is playing out like it is and you just do your best to survive. Finally when I was 14, my father divorced my mother as a way to save our sanity. To this day, I marvel at how he was able to take on the challenge of raising 2 kids while being a single dad in the 70's but that will be another blog!

When I was 18, my mother finally turned it around. She had an extremely acute attack of pancreatitis. She spent a week in ICU on a cooling blanket and nobody was sure if she would make it. Thankfully, she did and the doctors told her she had to do several things if she wanted to live. They told her she would have to quit the alcohol, quit the drugs, quit smoking, and she would have to lose almost 200 pounds as she weighed over 300 pounds then. AND they also told her she had to everything at once because her life depended on it.

She chose to clean up her act. It was not easy as first but she did everything the doctors had told her to do. I remember one time I went to visit her. She had boiled a pot of sliced yellow squash and she salted and peppered the squash once it was done cooking and that was her meal! And yes, she enjoyed it!!

She truly relished her new lease on life. She was very proud of herself and how she had got back her figure. She even took up disco dancing lessons! I included a picture from one of her classes. I specifically chose this one because she was so very proud of her shapely legs!

Then came the day of my 22nd birthday. I got a call from my uncle wishing me well and, oh by the way, your mother has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that has spread throughout her body and she has less than 6 months to live. But she did not make 4 months! I strongly believe to this day that had she not had the cancer, she would still be dancing and enjoying life without any chemical enhancement. She never backslid into her old ways during that short time she was fighting for her life. And fight she did! She would go to her chemo appointments an hour early to start wearing the ice hat so she could keep as much of her hair as she could. (Apparently wearing the ice hat freezes the capillaries in the roots of the hair so the chemo cannot reach them.) And when she lost her battle 28 years ago today, she really did have a pretty good head of hair!

Mom, I know you are in heaven so you know I have missed you. There were countless times when the babies were little when I really could have used your kind touch or even a hug. And I still remember how I would walk over from the college campus to meet you for lunch; so you know how long it took before I finally stopped trying to call you to see if you were free for lunch. Even now I still think about you and wonder what you would be like right now and how your grandchildren would also enjoy hanging out with you. I know you would still be your happy carefree spirit that you were those last 3 years of your life because if anyone can go thru what you went thru and not go back to your old ways, then they know what life is really all about!! So yes, even after 28 years, I still miss you! I love you, mom!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CJROMB 7/9/2009 7:11PM

    What a beautiful blog. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 19 and she was 45. We hadn't really made up yet, and I'd give anything in the world now if we had.

I'm so glad for you and your mom that she did have some time with her life turned around.

I'm sorry you don't have her now and thanx for sharing.

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U8RMY007 6/26/2009 6:45PM

  Thank you for sharing!

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LOTSACATSME 5/25/2009 12:35AM

    What a beautiful story, thanks for sharing.


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MRS_TOAD 5/24/2009 1:16PM

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story with all of us!

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MOBAYGIRL 5/24/2009 11:51AM

    I don't even know what to say but what a beautiful story and thank you so very much for sharing.
Reminds the rest of us to appreciate what we have while we have it as we never know when it will be gone, whether it be loved ones or good health.

Comment edited on: 5/24/2009 11:53:21 AM

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SHERRILOU47 5/23/2009 8:43PM

    Your blog was really beautiful and your mom, wow, she was a very pretty lady...I think that one of the things I am most thankful for is the memories that God allows us to keep...sometimes there are the not so good mingled in with the good, but the good ones seem to stand out more.. I am sure you do miss your mom so very much..I know I miss mine.. I was just sharing with someone the other day that my mom could not have been voted "mother of the year", however neither could I..so from your blog, you reminded me of the wonderful memories that I have held onto...

Thanks for sharing those memories with us, and the most awesome part of it was that your mom turned her life around and never went back to her old ways.. Now that is a wonderful legacy she left for you..

Have a blessed day,
Hugs and Prayers,

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SLENDERELLA2010 5/23/2009 6:05PM


I loved reading your blog today. I admire how you have taken the high road and realize that your Mom had her areas of brokenness and you forgive her for that. She must have been SO PROUD of you, so grateful for your forgiveness. You're a special woman. God bless your mom for having you.

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TINYBITES 5/23/2009 3:29PM

many blessing to you and your family, I know she is proud of you too, I believe you will see her dance again!
Co-Leader "Stressed Out Moms/Women Gettin' Healthy"

Comment edited on: 5/23/2009 3:29:40 PM

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Allow me to indulge myself for a moment and brag on my daughter!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I know when I write about my children, I generally leave my daughter out of my narrative. Partly because my son expends the bulk of my mothering energy but mostly because I strive to be humble. In my personal world, I have very little energy for boastful people. But in this case, I am going to make a HUGE exception and open up a little about my sweet daughter.

When she was in elementary school, my daughter was sadly part of a massively failed experiment on the students. The school took a huge step away from phonics and taught whole language. For those of you unfamiliar with the difference, in whole language you memorize how to read words rather than sound them out. So if you have learned “basket” and “ball”, you might not know “basketball”. Soon after they abandoned the old tried and true method of sounding out words, they came back to their senses so my son never went thru this mess. And what a mess it was for my daughter!!! To get her reading back on track, it cost us over 2 years and $6,000 at Sylvan learning Center, along with the extra expenses of bribing a burning out young lady towards the end! (Hey -- since this happened so long ago, please do not comment on the validity or politics of whole language versus phonics. What is done has been done and this is not a commentary on education but more about what a resilient fighter my daughter is and has always been!)

Fast forward to high school and my daughter has the most awesome 9th grade English teacher that ever graced that high school. Thankfully, circumstances would keep my daughter in one of this most fabulous teacher's classes for 3 out of the 4 high school years. Besides being an energetic, enthusiastic teacher, this teacher gave my daughter the kind of self confidence that only a superlative teacher can give. Because of my daughter's slow start into the reading world, her grades always lagged a little and my daughter had to work that much harder to make the grades she had. Still, my daughter graduated high school with a 3.2 GPA that she worked super hard to earn.

Fast forward again to college this past semester of her junior year. Some of you may already know that her future MIL lost her fight with cancer in the middle of the semester. Besides dealing with the impending loss of a dear friend, my daughter also had to contend with being the main support system to her BF during the mom's struggle with cancer and then helping him put the pieces back together after his mother passed away. My daughter also carried a full load of courses that were all advanced level along with working an internship in her degree field.

So this is where the good part of the story comes into play!! My daughter finished the semester with a 3.75 for the semester and for the first time in her life, she made Dean's List. In addition, her guidance counselor suggested she start taking her senior exam now since most students pass it on their third try. If you have not guessed yet, she passed it on her first try!!

There is so much more I could say about my amazing baby but I am done bragging on my daughter. Thank you for allowing me to indulge myself and letting this BIG secret out!!!

Here is an awesome picture of my sweetheart this past summer when we spent the day at Discovery Cove!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRENCOR19 5/26/2009 9:08AM

    Give your daughter a BIG HIGH FIVE from me! That is great! It is so amazing to see our children reach there potential. I think we all know they have it in them, but sometimes they dotn have that desire or strength! Kudos to your beautiful and strong daughter for sticking to her guns and getting things done. She will go far in life with that attitude!

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JOYCEANN1955 5/21/2009 11:08PM

    What a beautiful young lady and what a wonderful commentary on her hard work and stick-to-it attitude! You go girl!

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MOBAYGIRL 5/21/2009 10:02PM

    Oh WOW how Proud...I'll bet you are busting buttons! Your daughter is beautiful.

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MEME102 5/21/2009 10:02PM

    Great job and you have every right to be a proud mama!! WOOHOO....

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SHRYNKABELLE 5/21/2009 6:18AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

What a wonderful story.....see, out of every adversity comes a seed of greater benefit.

Always remind yourself how diamonds are make....under a lot of pressure!!!! That's both of you, incidentally, well done and enjoy the pride!


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ELMO12714 5/19/2009 9:53PM

  You have raised a great child. That's awesome! I'm sure it wasn't easy on her dealing with the loss of someone close to her but she trumiphed & did a wonderful job! I'm proud of her & she's not even my child.

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JENNTINYSAM 5/19/2009 3:21PM

  Tell her I said Congrats. That is awesome.


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PAM1984 5/19/2009 2:52PM

    Praise God for each and everyone that has touched your daughter's life. Thank you for raising such a beautiful woman that gives to herself and others.

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RCYODER 5/19/2009 2:14PM

    You go girl!!!

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TEAPOTWITCH 5/19/2009 2:13PM

    Congratulations to your daughter and to you, proud Momma! Never be shy about bragging on your dear children! (Other Mommas understand!) Way to go all! She is an inspiration!

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KATHCART 5/19/2009 2:09PM

    Congratulations to your daughter for her accomplishments, as well as to you for raising such a strong and determined young lady. I wish you both all the best.

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ETAGGEL 5/19/2009 1:52PM

    Congratulate her from me. You have the right to boast/brag whatever. Quite an accomplishment!


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Reasons Why and Mottos

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This past week has been very insightful for me as I have written blogs on different introspective topics as part of a team challenge. I am glad it forced me to stop and think about what I have been doing since joining Sparks and why it is important.

First and foremost, if you do not have your health you have very little. I think about my poor daughter's future MIL and how frail she looked the last time I visited her in the hospital a few weeks before she succumbed to cancer. This sweet soul had done most everything right as far as the big vices go: no drinking, no smoking, very little alcohol, and yet she was still slammed really hard with cancer. What about the people who know they have bad health habits and choose to continue with them. My son says he wants to quit smoking. I thought the extra tax burden recently enacted would do the trick. But no! He continues to choose to smoke. I hope he realizes all the harm he is doing to his body and chooses to set himself on the right path before any damage is long lasting.

So it boils down to there are things in your life you have no control over and there are facets in your life over which you have complete control. It is those aspects of life that we need to concentrate on since we hold those in our hands. With that in mind, the topic of today's blog is to make a list of short simple statements that sum up my reasons why and to use these affirmations when facing a tough time.

-- I want to see my reflection grinning back at me!

-- I want to be able to enjoy all that life has to offer today and in all my tomorrows!

-- I can't wait to get back into my cute skinny clothes that so enjoy mocking me!

-- And last and most definitely not least, I want to enjoy my quality of life!!

Yes, it certainly was a lot more fun (and easier) putting the weight on but without health, there is not much else. So in the long run, my determination to become healthy WILL triumph over the obstacles before me and one day, I will step out of the shower and grin at my reflection, I will relish the day when I start wearing my oh-so-mocking skinny clothes again (as well as any new ones! Yay!!!!), and finally, I will manage the facets of my life that I have have control over so that I will continue to live my life to the fullest; hopefully, even fuller!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADLINS 5/17/2009 6:24PM

    The one thing I have learned is you can't make someone stop doing something, being it smoking, drinking or any other hurtful habit. They have to want to quit. I have those same aspirations for my brother (quit smoking, quit drinking), but even after my father, a long time smoker got lung cancer, he hasn't quit. He knows he should, but he hasn't. And, you're right - it's his choice.

I love your goals! Keep the focus!

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PLAYFULLKITTY 5/17/2009 8:08AM

    You can do it :) hugs to you.

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    I love your blog. It has made me think. As far as your son I hope that someday he sees the light and quits smoking. You are right if you don't have health you have very little. I agree it was funnier putting on the weight but I am having more fun getting healthier. Just finding all the things I can do now that I thought I would never be able to to is. I can't wait for you to see your refection grinning back at you. Then you can say my body fought but I still won. I know that you will be able to live your life to the fullest.

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Why do you want to eat healthy?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Throughout this week I have posted introspective blogs as part of a team challenge. The topic for today is "why I want to eat healthy".

The plain and simple truth is that you are what you eat. There is ample research suggesting that if you eat an unhealthy diet, your body will become inflamed on the inside and have problems as a result such as diabetes, heart problems, high cholesterol, and plenty of other problems.

On the other hand, the same research reinforces the fact that eating right can help people stave off or even avoid health/weight related issues.

I know people say you are going to die anyway but what about "quality of life"? Maybe I take a different approach to this "quality of life issue" after having fought cancer. I have been there where daily life was painful as a result of the treatments: my eyeballs rubbed against my facial bones as a result of swelling; my joints were so swollen it hurt to move, and the list gets longer but you get the idea!

At this point in my life after having read so much of the available health-related information, I feel it would just be downright foolish to revert to my old ways of eating and not try to have the best health possible. So I will continue to try to eat right right so that I may enjoy better health and, hopefully along the way, enjoy a better "quality of life"!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAIRE7 5/15/2009 4:22PM

  i too have change my eating habits. some time i cheat but i get back on track. ideal with chronic pain,but i thank god i can move on my own with his help. getting back into my word and walking to give back to the miss used to my body.

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Why do you want a fit body?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

These past several days I have been writing introspective blogs as part of a team challenge. I have enjoyed these challenges as they have helped to reinforce my commitment to losing the weight and becoming healthy! But lately, I have been super committed as I have been REALLY sticking to my workout plans and staying under my calorie max on most days!

Anyways, the topic for this blog is why do I want a fit body. To be bluntly honest, the first answer that popped into my head was vanity. I hate my reflection; especially coming out the shower where there is no lycra or long t-shirt to hide the flaws that so upset me. I have spent most of my life being very fit and athletic. I competed Varsity gymnastics all thru high school and went on to enjoy 2 years of NCAA gymnastics competition. As a result of gymnastics (as well as my own vanity), it is much ingrained in my head to be aware of how I look. It is only recently that my figure vexes me. I have included a picture taken with my European cousin who was visiting the summer before I got married. I have also included another picture taken a few months before my son’s first birthday so you can see that I really had taken care of my figure most of my life. I am truly ready for the day when I see my reflection grinning back at me when I get out of the shower!

Another reason I want a fit body is that I still enjoy sports and the fun things in life. I still enjoy skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. It would be a lot easier to do these things if I had the endurance and energy to be able to go all out. Plus who needs a bulging belly or thunder thighs "literally" getting in the way!!

And finally, the last main reason I want a fit body is that I want to get back into my skinny clothes. Yes, I still held on to the cute stuff and I swear I can hear them mocking me every time I have to put on my larger size clothes.

So I will take my revenge on my skinny clothes by coming back to a fit body and I will look and feel awesome when that time comes!! And I will hold on to that fit body because after this long hard battle to get rid of the unfitness, I would prefer to never go thru this again!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRS_HBE 5/15/2009 1:32PM

    I'm with you all the way. I miss hiking -- especially the difficult (and less traveled) trails. I miss having the energy to hike 12 miles. I miss my skinny clothes. We can do this -- maybe one day we'll go on a group hike somewhere.

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JYPSYD 5/14/2009 2:42PM

    I just moved into level 3 of the program and filled out a survey. One part of it covered your motivation goals and one of the questions concerned why you wanted to lose weight. Of course the first thing that comes to mind is you want to look good. I am very young looking for my age. Losing the weight helps me feel younger and lets face it, we don't want to get old. I did not answer the question that way though. I guess that to me is a bonus. Of course I want to be healthy and set a good example for my friends and family but let face it, we all want to look good. I like you have been a athlete in the past and have always considered myself in good shape until I started to put on the weight. I some times think we are at an advantage because we have the memory to focus on.

Good luck with your program.

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FINDINGMYWAY09 5/14/2009 1:24PM

    I love this blog!!!

I also have 3 reasons again like 85% I 'd say vanity just to be able to like what I see when I look into a mirror.

To wear those cute clothes as well (wow we have alot in common) I mean I would LOVE to wear a two piece bathing suit (not the wicked revealing ones) one that has a cute top and shorts.

Finally this one is weird I'm a wicked scaredy cat so when I'm home alone I'm afraid someone is going to break in (my neighbors that were arrested are back) and I want to be able to kick butt and take names.

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