Mom's beauty was not only skin deep! She was an amazing person. She was the life of the party. She loved being involved with her children and theirs lives. She coached our soccer teams, she taught the pee wee drill team, and she was always the P.T.A. room mother. She would encourage me to have slumber parties and sleep overs at our house. She taught all my friends how to do the shimmy! I could never get that one! She would dress up on Halloween and pass out the candy to the neighborhood children. She was the one who would tell you like it is! If she thought you were wrong, she had no problem telling you about it! You could always count on my mom to be there for you! She was a very strong woman. She survived her divorce with my dad and having to go out in the real world and get a job. She learned to support herself. She did all of this and still was amazingly involved with our lives. She was the first one there if you were sick or needed help in any way. She was a wonderful doting grandmother for my two daughters. She married again. This time to a man that was about 20 years younger than she was. When she was 49, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through a total mastectomy and radiation and many chemotherapy treatments. She stopped her chemo because she decided that they were just trying to get more money out of her! That was my mom! Very Strong minded and if she got an idea in her head, it wasn't going to leave! Her health declined over the next few years. She had become a diabetic. She had a stroke. Yet, she remained a constant in our lives. Getting her to go to a doctor was darn near impossible! On my youngest daughters first birthday, she was determined to come to my house for her birthday party. Mom, had been having severe pains in her legs for weeks and we did have a doctors appointment for the following day to have that checked out. She had my step-father bring her to our house for the party and to spend the night so that I could drive her to her appointment the next day while he was at work. She also seemed to be having stroke like symptoms. Problems with following conversations and she was very wobbly. We made it through the party and through the night. The next day at the doctors office we discovered that her cancer had returned. It had returned with a vengeance! There were seven tumors on her brain and the cancer had spread to her bones. Did I already tell you that my mom was very strong minded? She told them flat out "NO CHEMO!" This was on a Friday. Our family spent the entire weekend trying to convince her to take the treatments. She finally agreed by Monday. We go to the appointment and guess what? They said it was too late! They sent her home with Hospice. The next six weeks and 3 days I stayed at my mother's side day in and day out! She had a morphine drip and a whole mirage of pills to make her life less painful. Within just a short time, she was no longer the strong, beautiful mom that we had known. She could not talk or walk. She could not eat. She was suffering so much. This was the most unbearable thing to witness. If only she had gotten help sooner. If only she had not given up the first time. If only! If only! If only! If only we had not lost her on June 1st, 1995. She is still her in my heart and I think of her daily. Yes, I am strong like her but I am also different.
I believe in being a strong person. I believe in standing up for what you believe is right. I believe that you have to fight for life! I believe in being there for your family and friends. I believe in God and prayer! I believe in listening to the doctors and researching on your own. I believe in natural therapies, too! I believe that I will beat cancer! I believe that I do not want to leave my family with memories of me giving up! I believe in positive thinking! I believe that after almost 20 years that I am still grieving. I believe that I will do the very best that I can! I believe! I believe! I believe!