For my mom.....
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Today would have been my mother's 62nd birthday. She passed on November 10, 2006 after a very long battle with liver cancer.
I blog today in her honor. I wish she could be here to see everything that has happened since 2006, namely my daughter growing into a young lady, my husband and I married almost 10 years now, and me earning another advanced degree. I mostly wish that she could see the progress I have made toward getting rid of this weight.
My mother never ever commented on my weight, whether I was thin ( in high school) or fat (after). She always thought I was beautiful. I miss her.
My mom was born in New Orleans, LA. She was an Army brat and lived in Germany for a few years. That was where she began her doll collection. There was an old couple who lived in their neighborhood. The woman would hand-smock little ethnic costumes for the dolls, while her husband would paint on their faces. She left us dolls that represented Spain, Poland, Austria, even Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia! Eventually my grandpa was stationed at Fort Gordon, GA and they decided to stay here.
She met my dad when she was 15 and they got married when she was 19. I have lots of pictures of her before my sis and I came along -- young and shapely, with her 60's hair and polyester minidresses. She had knockout legs and a sassy smile. My folks loved to camp and be outside. They took us a lot when my sis and I were young. We always had a boat, and we learned to fish while were very young.
I can recall when I was very little that she would go to "the spa" at least two or three nights a week with her friends to exercise and I would go with her and stay in the childcare room. I remember her black leotard and stockings. She didn't go as often as my sister and I got older, and then after breaking her ankle when I was 7 she stopped altogether. Every once in a while we would walk around the block or walk up to the ball park up the street. She had a small stroke in '92; luckily it didn't affect her speech or motor functions. But the doctor did insist she start losing weight.
She lost at least 40 pounds as I recall, but like so many of us she had a hard time maintaining it. She drank a lot of sweet tea and never met a vegetable she didn't loathe.
After I got married and had my daughter, I would visit regularly and began noticing that once again she was losing weight. She told me she was feeling funny but that the doctor she had talked to had told her everything was OK and she would be fine. She neglected to tell us that she was having trouble with her bathroom needs and was feeling bloated. By the time she went to a physician who actually listened to her story and symptoms, it was too late.
They found a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her colon and it had metastisized to her uterus. They removed the tumor and her womb. When they did the scan to make sure they hadn't missed any of it, they discovered more bad news. Her liver was riddled with tumors. Mom was terminal.
She hung on for a good 3 years and up until her last few days was bright and lucid and smiling. We kept a vigil by her bed and at around 11 am on November 10 she passed.
I cannot recall my mother ever going to the doctor for anything other than her epilepsy medication. She did not visit an OB/GYN and I never heard about her getting a full physical. I wonder if we could have had her around for a few more years at least if she had gone to see a GP.
My mom died when she was only 58. My father passed two years later from congestive heart failure (my sister and I call it a broken heart) at 62. If you think about it that gives me an average of only 22 years if I don't make these permanent changes in my life.
I quit smoking 8 years ago.... and I have dropped 40 pounds. I see a doctor regularly and always see my OB/GYN once a year. I am proud of the hard work I put in and the rewards I am getting out of it. Knowing that there is so much more in store for me if I take good care of myself, makes a lot of the aches and pains worth it!
I don't want my little girl to be missing me when she should be coming over with my grandkids and shopping with me, cooking with me, laughing with me, and best of all, hugging me.
Oh, how I wish I could give my mom a birthday hug today.........