I’m fortunate to be raised by two amazing parents who didn’t hesitate to show my sisters and me support, encouragement, love, laughter, and respect (with some rules sprinkled in too). My parents balanced each other in so many ways. I had a different, but close, relationship with both my mom and dad. Even though cancer took my dad from us several years ago, his lessons live on daily in my life. As Mother’s Day approaches, I am reminded that my mom was, and still is, in many ways the foundation of my family. She recognized the individual personalities, needs and interests of my sisters and me, and always tries to support us as those individuals.
Some of you may not believe that I was a shy, sensitive child. My sensitivity still flows through me, although I’ve learned to turn it into energy of helping others. My mom recognized those traits and tried to help me find strength, courage and trust in myself. I am grateful for her support and love.
It was, however, my cancer diagnosis that really showed me the power of her love and dedication. She was the first person I called from the urgent center after the doctor said something showed on my xray. She was the person who made the doctor arrangements, questioned choices and options to ensure I was receiving the very best treatment that would provide the greatest chance of a positive outcome. She held me when I cried and felt pain, frustration, anger and loneliness. She cheered the loudest as I took my first steps off of crutches after learning how to walk again post-cancer surgery. She encouraged me to attend my first young adult survivors conference after treatment, even though I traveled alone to Montana, so I could truly recognize that I wasn’t alone in this cancer journey (and my dad later shared how stressed she was to let me leave). And she continues to encourage me to follow my heart and the path that will bring me the greatest joy, even if she doesn’t always agree with a decision or knows it might take me a distance from her.
I am truly blessed to be raised by two amazing parents, who constantly showed my sisters and me about choosing love and happiness, no matter what others think you should do. I have learned many lesson in my life from my mom. Here are a few that mean a lot to me:
Choose love, optimism and courage. Trust your choices, even if no one else does.
Hugs from your mom can make your day so much better.
Kindness matters, and makes a huge impact on others (and yourself).
Look outside of yourself to help others (offer a helping hand to someone in need, volunteer, etc.), while still taking care of yourself.
Do not feeling guilty saying no to family and friends if it doesn’t work for you.
Do not sacrifice your own health and happiness for others. It helps no one if you don’t take care of yourself and your happiness.
Love doesn’t always show up as planned or this society says it should – that doesn’t mean it’s wrong or not worth the effort – it may end up the greatest decision you make. Don’t let it go.
Do not wait to travel, learn something new, tell someone how you feel – life is short and the opportunity may never come.
Change your situation if it doesn’t work for you. Don’t complain, feel obligated, settle.
Choose to be happy, let go of the past and embrace this life.