We measure years so differently.
A fifteen year birth date is a young life, full of opportunity and hope.
A fifteen year death date is a memorial on a calendar month that is filled with mixed emotions.
I’m having one of those today. It is the anniversary of my Mom’s death. Cancer ended her life on May 2nd, fifteen years ago this afternoon.
My Mom was a great mom. She had her hands full raising me. I can admit to that now because I have hind sight. In fact, I’m not sure how my parents got through those tough teenage years of mine. They must have been made of steel. It was much easier when it came to raising my sister!
My Mom was one of those moms who made the best tuna sandwich in the world. She was the best cook. Even though she was deathly afraid of the water, she would take me to the beach when I was a kid, so I could spend hours body surfing in the ocean. She loved just sitting on the sand, people watching and getting some sun. Summers in San Diego were the best. She believed in keeping her kids active, so she’d pack us in the car and drive us to swimming lessons and tennis lessons and any other lesson that would keep us busy.
She was smart too. Played piano my ear and expected good grades and good behavior from us from elementary school on up. That happened ‘most’ of the time.
She was well into her 80’s when cancer can into her world, but she was still strong and healthy. Besides being in the hospital for the birth of her two daughters, a broken hip was the only other time she’d really been in need of medical care.
So when her doctor told her it was cancer that would take her life, she was mad. “How can this be?” I remember her saying. We all wondered that too.
Less than a year later, this wonderful woman who gave me life, lost her own as the cancer spread. Fifteen years ago…only a heart beat away.