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.