So it’s been awhile since I have made a real entry, truth be told I have kind of held off on it, with the new influx of readers sometimes I am quite hesitant to get on the personal level.
But maybe it’s the important stuff that we need more of. I love talking about those things, because it lets me see people for who they really are. It’s a shame that many feel they have to keep this wall between themselves and the world. But maybe it’s kind of like that song by the Goo Goo Dolls: “I don’t want the world to see me, because I don’t think that they’d understand…” Well maybe that explains my fear.
I have thrown a lot of things around earlier in my first few entries, and I kind of stopped. But I read over it, and this “piece” of my life is important to me, and deserves a spot here in this journal.
This is really about love, a real and pure love. There are different kinds of love– this one is about the love of a parent. Most have lost loved ones, so I think many can relate. Anyway… here it is:
For some it’s a real life tragedy. For others it’s a real life miracle. It depends on how you look at it I guess. Mostly it is about a blessing, a sacrifice, courage, and the love that only a mother can give. Looking back, it is probably the single biggest impact on my life up to this point. I can honestly say I owe my entire life to the actions of one person.
About a year before I was born, my father married my mother. I have seen the pictures, it was a beautiful wedding. My mother was an absolutely stunning woman. When she entered, she lit up the room, she was intelligent, witty, and very very beautiful. Friends of Dad can still today be heard joking that he married over his head. It is such a beautiful thing– this life. It blooms and wilts, dies in the winter and is born again in the spring. The only certainty is that there is no escaping the brevity of it, beautiful as it may be.
Shortly after my mom’s wedding she was diagnosed with Leukemia. Her life began to wilt away. She had to drop out of college, and spent most of her time in hospitals, in and out of chemotherapy. My entire family’s life was put on hold, my Dad quit work and school, to be there at my mother’s side through the sickness, just as he had vowed. That is how they spent what was supposed to be one of the best years of life. Fortunately, she went into remission and it began to look like she might just pull out of it.
One of the side affects of chemotherapy is sterility. This is where something very strange happened, and why some call it a miracle. When my mother went in for one of her routine checkups, quite to the surprise of the doctors, they found out that she was pregnant. But I picture it as one of those “good news, bad news” scenes because, unfortunately, they also found more cancer cells.
This is what I really remember my mom for, and why it is such a pivotal piece of my life. She had a very important decision to make: she could immediately go back on chemotherapy and lose the baby, or keep the baby and risk the cancer. I was born March 10th, 1988 by a C-section, one month premature. She died on April 5th.
During this time my grandparents offered to raise me. But Dad declined–he had made a promise to my mother before she died that he intended to keep. And he has kept his promise to this day. He’s has been behind me every step of the way, watching me learn from my mistakes, and always giving me a hand when the going got too tough.
When I look at pictures of her I think her the most heroic person in the world. It took tremendous courage to risk her life on the off chance of mine. Every single piece of me exists because of her. Her death taught me how to live. Every single moment could be our last, she taught me that, how to live in the moment, how to really and truly love.
I believe we all can learn something from Mom. Deep down we are all searching for a purpose, a direction in which to dedicate our lives to. She knew she had the opportunity to do something heroic when she had cancer. She gave me the greatest gift anyone can ever give—the gift of life. It is because of that, that I am obligated to repay her by making the most of my life here on earth. My profession, my passions, what I do, who I love, how I live my life; all constitute this bigger picture. Because it is bigger than just me. It is about the dreams of a mother on her death bed, the dreams of a young widowed father left to care for his new son, the dreams of grandparents, and great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, friends, loved ones, and everyone who ever knew my mom. Truth is, I mean so much more to these people than just my mother’s son. I am her survivor, I get to have the life she never did. I just hope that I make the most of her and the rest of my family’s sacrifice for me.