Today my mom would have been 82 years old. She has been gone a staggering 14 years (I can't believe it has been that long). Before she got sick at the young age of 45, she was athletic, a golfer, a tennis player, a leader in the Girl Scouts. She raised 5 daughters. I use to be amazed at the thought that she used a whole loaf of bread to make our lunches. My mom was one of the strongest, most persistent people I have ever met.
When she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at such a young age, she never shed a tear that I saw. She just started fighting it with everything she had, medically, mentally..She didn't complain much to me anyway, never seemed to feel sorry for herself. After 10 years she ended up on a wheelchair and that is how she lived out her life. She just saw an obstacle and went over it. She persisted with an undaunted will...I must admit it was a real bummer to have the roles reversed so young. She was my mom and had always taken care of everyone and everything and now, she was the dependent one. She never demanded my attention, even when she got sick. We wanted to be around her, even if it was a few trips across country to mom's house to spend time with her. I always loved being around my mom for those visits. I could just hang out, go shopping with her, the wheelchair just became a part of our lives. In 1994, she became even more disabled by this crippling disease and finally, when she could no longer talk, she let go and passed on. There is never a day in my life that I do not miss my mom. The hole in my heart is smaller, as the days pass but I can still remember her voice, her unstoppable will power to live and go on and be positive.
I know that is why I am who I am today. That is what makes me want to conquer Ironman and Mount Kilimanjaro and do all the things that seem too hard.
Because my mom taught me that nothing is too hard if you just set your mind to it.
Happy birthday Mom!