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Groundhog Day - Different Meaning

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Groundhog Dog - Different Meaning to Me
On this day in history, when I was 12 years old, my mother had a heart attack. At that time, she was only 40 years old. It was unheard of, really. She had a major heart attack and was in the hospital for probably 3 weeks I think. She was overweight and had been a heavy smoker. This, of course, was the day she quit. It's hard for me to remember that my parents were smokers before then, but they were. This was in the 80's, and low-fat everything was all the rage. So after mom got out of the hospital, we became a low-fat, low-salt household. I remember her buying some sort of fat-free potato chips and thinking 'why bother?'! LOL ....

She started an exercise routine after that to help rehabilitate herself. She got to where she was walking about six miles a day. She lost a good bit of weight, in addition to quitting smoking.

Fast forward five years, 1987 - she is 45 years old - she unexpectedly died in her sleep from another heart attack. I was just 17 at the time. I use to be angry and bitter that she worked so hard, only to die anyway, just 5 short years later. However; now I realize it was a gift from God. Her 1st heart attack was so severe, she almost died then. All of her hard work bought her those 5 extra years, and if you think about it - the five years that a young girl goes through from age 12 to 17 - well those are pretty darn important.

So whenever I think of Groundhog Day - I don't really think about groundhogs or predictions of summer. I remember coming home from school to an empty house (which NEVER happened) and wondering what the heck was going on. I remember how everything changed that day. Happy to say that my father, who is now 70, is definitely still smoke-free, and alive and well.

Present day, I am 43 years old. I definitely think about the reality of my own mortality - especially given that my mom died so young. But I'm doing well. I still have weight to lose, but all my numbers are good (blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.). I'm a work in progress, but thankfully I've never had to battle smoking or drugs or alcohol or anything like that. Just food :)

This is a photo of my mother holding me as a baby.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This blog tugs at my heart. My Mom abandoned me when I was 8. She was..tall, blonde with so much personality and I will always miss her. She died when she was 60. She tried to reach out to me a couple times in my life but...she was drunk and always drinking. I was too scared to reach back. My Dad...was my lifeline. I was very close to him. He died when he was 62. I miss my parents terribly. I know your pain. :( I'm sorry about your Mom. I also know it was such a blessing she lived those years you really needed her. :) I see an amazing resemblance in you and your Mom here. You look exactly like her. That's what people say about me and my Mom. But I think I look more like my Dad. :)
    1798 days ago
  • UNICORN212
    It was nice that you had those additional years. My Mom was 47 when she died (I was 20) and my Dad died at 65 (when I was 40). So I can relate, especially when I hit that 47 mark a few years ago. Congrats on your good numbers - awesome success!

    P.S. You were a very cute little girl!
    1843 days ago
    Even though you lost your mom so young, you were blessed to have those 5 extra years with her, and she with you and her loved ones. Our parents mortality really does make us think about her own. My mother passed away on Memorial Day weekend 3 1/2 years ago, so that weekend makes me think of her even if it doesn't fall on the same date every year. Even though this is a day late, prayers for you because anniversaries of deaths can be hard.
    1843 days ago
  • LINDAF49
    Precious memories...God bless you and thank you for sharing this..My father died at 54 from heart attach and as each of us 5 kids have passed that age we have breathed a sigh of relief...I agree, it looks like you are following your father's geneic path . COntinue to take good care of YOU and rejoice in health.
    1844 days ago
  • DEBBY4576
    I remember my friend having a hard time when her oldest child turned 10. Her mother abandoned her when she was 10. She had to have treatment to get over the thought she would do the same thing. I imagine, deep down that you have a fear of dying like your mother did at 45. It's deep seeded. Although you KNOW you are healthy compared to her. Keep losing the weight and getting those good numbers in your blood. You are taking after your Dad healthwise obviously. What a hard hard thing to have lived through. God Bless you.
    1844 days ago
    Bittersweet memories but like you said, the lifestyle changes bought yopu an additional 5 years with you mom.

    Keep on Keepin' on and

    Make Today a Great Day!
    1844 days ago
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