Tuesday, June 16, 2009

For Mom's Fight, That Others May Win

Right now, I am wearing her diamond earrings. I'm drinking from her favorite coffee cup. And I am overcome with sadness, because I shouldn't be doing these things... she should."She" is Mom, Diana Williamson, and she died last month at 59 from cancer.I was going to throw a huge 60th birthday party bash for my folks, but now Mom is dead and Dad doesn't even want to think about his birthday. For the last 42 years, he shared his birthday with her.Mom had been retired two weeks when she went in to the doctor to see about the swelling in her uterus. She and Dad had worked hard, and now it was time to live a little-- travel, indulge her many hobbies, dote on her grandchildren. Instead, she received a terrible diagnosis and died a year and a half later.God, I hate cancer.Cancer robbed my daughters of their grandmothers, both gone much too young. Cancer took away Dad's true love and life partner. Cancer killed my mom, the best woman I have ever known.Mom loved life. She woke up every day determined to make that day the best ever. Even at the end of her life, when she couldn't get out of bed and was attached to machines, she started each morning by looking out the window and saying "What a beautiful day." Every night she said to Dad "What a perfect day." She was the happiest, nicest person I've ever known. She gave herself so completely to so many people, those of us left behind haven't figured out how to fill the holes she's left in so many lives. I know we can't. No one could do it but Mom. She had the biggest, brightest smile and the most contagious laugh.She loved life. And she wanted everyone to have a chance to live it to the fullest, which is why she was so active in the Relay for Life. It's because of her I got involved, raising as much money as we could for the American Cancer Society. Even though her death is so recent and raw, if our positions were switched I know she would be here, writing a letter to raise money to help fight cancer.So even though this is a pretty rough, ranting letter, and even though I've been crying trying to get through it... fighting cancer is more important to me than ever before. So please, if you have a little spare cash, buy a luminaria or two. They are $5 each, and you can dedicate it to Mom or someone else you love who has been touched by cancer. Make checks out to the American Cancer Society, and mail them to me. I won't get to see Mom at the Relay for Life this year, but maybe I can see a big block of luminarias for her, with her beautiful smile shining up at me.

Thank you,

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