Monday, March 5, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MOM

I had every intention of writing about a whole bunch of things today.  The first thing I was going to include in my bunch of things? Saturday was my mom's birthday.  I wanted to make sure I let the whole world know, or...more accurately, the "world" that reads this blog...... well, I wanted to be sure to say Happy Birthday.  She is part of the team.  The Breast Cancer Team.  And even if she weren't part of "us" ....  She would still get this shout out.

She showed me by example how to love deeply, how to live with passion and how to be there for others-for the big stuff, the little stuff and all the stuff in between.  She taught me how to stay on the high road no matter what others might be doing.  Try to understand where others might be coming from if something or someone is upsetting.  To thine own self be true.  Do what's right.  Lead from your heart, but always use your head.  Yes, she taught me all of those things.  And a whole lot more.  Mom, Happy Birthday.... and Mom.... I Love You.

Quite coincidentally, I was looking for a blog post to send a link to someone.  This post was the first one I checked.  As I was reading it, I realized, this is a fitting repeat for mom... from last September.  Mom can't comment on my blog and I SWEAR I didn't hex her computer or anything like that..... but she reads the blog every day.  And I know there are times she would comment and can't......in fact, I know she commented on some of your blogs....particularly if there was a comment that touched her.

This is for YOU mom..... It was for you in September and it's for you again today..... two days late ......  Should have done this on Frida, the day before.....  But, instead, two days AFTER.  I know I'm forgiven because she was never upset to begin with.  A mother's love.  Unconditional.

From September 16..... for mom....


My intention was to elaborate on the broken mirror that I mentioned yesterday.  And I also intended to write about how sometimes the silliest thing (like that whole twitter exchange I talked about) can just give you a giggle fit.  And, how laughing is universal-even if we don't all find the same things funny.  "Can't we just have a nice, normal affair?" was the funniest friggen thing I've heard in a very long time.  When did affairs become normal??  The fact that this made me laugh rather than enraged me, definitely A New Normal shift in me.  

The broken mirror and the stupidity that I found funny will have to wait.  I met a friend for dinner last evening.  It was an after work thing and I arrived first (said friend was a tad later than expected).  There is something very magical about having a smart phone when seated at a bar ALONE.  I ordered a drink (cleared yesterday with Dr. Love who tweeted some research about alcoholic beverages, one a DAY, HARD liquor).  OK... I had to find the tweet and insert the link because as I typed that, it just looked like I must have mixed up a whole mess of stuff and made up my own story.  My memory may be improving.  Bring on the tequila and the vodka.  Ultra premium brands, please.  (What to do about the ADD/OCD and forgetting to actually do stuff?? Whole other situation.)

The bar began to fill pretty quickly and I was glad I arrived slightly ahead of the crowd.  I snagged a bar stool with absolutely no effort.  Much easier to put myself into the smartphone bubble.  Got my bag all situated and grabbed my phone just as a young "man" (like a YOUNG man and no, dude, I'm not on a cougar prowl, O K A Y???) asked if anyone was sitting at the empty stool beside me.  Since I already had the phone at the ready, I politely looked up and told him to please take the seat.  Back to the phone.

I see an email from my mom.  She wanted to know how I did "that" and by "that" she was referring to  the video I inserted into yesterday's blog entry.  I replied to the email with a quick explanation and then told her to check something on You Tube.  Gave her a very brief explanation and MOM GETS A PLATINUM STAR.  How she located the damn video with the rapid and distracted email sent from my phone??  Go Mom, good job!  Friend arrived.  Had a nice visit, was in my car on the way home by 7PM.  

I walked into the same mess I left.  I had a fantasy that I would walk into an orderly home.  Like I said, a fantasy.  I rushed out for dinner (running late AS usual, although, it would not have mattered since I had that alone time at the bar) which means every room into which I stepped before I walked out has some sort of mess I need to address.  Do I bother to even look at this when I walked in the door?  Nope.  Sat down, began to flip through some magazines, opened the laptop and began to write and suddenly I'm checking twitter, FB, emails.  I think I am going to have to disconnect internet access for entire blocks of time during the day.  Clearly, I no longer have the discipline or the self control to stick with the task at hand.

I am bouncing between writing a blog post, answering an email from someone in the NY Army of Women, writing an entry for a quilt project (wait, let me go get that, too) that I started at least a week ago (still haven't gotten one sentence in).... and I notice a new email.  It's from my mom. And, I quickly realized the email wasn't for me, it was about me and it was sent to a whole lot of people (30 or more-A LOT of people).

When I first posted this blog, my mom sent an email to many people.  It was a beautifully written email about how proud she is of what I created.  It's what mom's do, right?  Meryl Streep has a great line in Bridges of Madison County which I will find and post about the sacrifices a mom makes when she chooses to have children.  The email she sent last night was to ask everyone to go find the You Tube video.  It's a video blurb for Army of Women.

Not only did she send this email to a massive number of people, she was asking them to listen to me talk about AOW or at least go to the website to read about The Army.  She explained how very hard I am trying to get the word out and she reached out to all of her friends and many relatives to ask them to help me with this "monumental task."  It is monumental.  

And I am so fortunate to have the best mom in the world standing behind me in whatever I do.  My mom always has my back and I can always count on her to give me a reality check if I'm screwing up.  And I am LUCKY.  The broken mirror, not so much.  One of the messes I have to clean up is in my office.  I had to prove to myself it was in 2004 and the seven years of shit luck is in the past.

Within six weeks of breaking that mirror, many things happened.  The one thing that jumped off the page?  It was in the fall of 2004, there was something on mom's mammography.  I have some pretty clear notes about sonograms, MRI's and an offer to remove what they were sure wasn't cancer. Precisely three years later that thing WAS cancer.

Those were three VERY stressful years.  And this army that I am determined to see reach the one million mark is going to provide an answer.  I have no doubt stress created the environment that triggered the change.  Stress triggered a 2nd primary cancer.  The army is going to figure out how and why.  I want answers.  My mom deserves answers.

I love you, mom.

Mom's reply....

Thank you for the beautiful words in your blog today.
If I could comment this is what I would say.

I WOULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN FOR YOU AND YOUR SISTERS TO BE SPARED
FROM THIS DREAD DISEASE. WHEN I WAS ON CHEMO FOR OVER 12 MONTHS
(AND YOU KNOW HOW IT WAS ADMINISTERED BACK IN 1988)
MY PRAYER WAS "I OFFER EVERYTHING I AM GOING THROUGH. LET IT END WITH ME"
AND EACH DAY I TOLD MYSELF "TOMORROW WILL BE A BETTER DAY"
TO ALL OF YOU GOING THROUGH THESE TOUGH TIMES, I SAY "THAT BETTER DAY
DID COME, AND SOMETIMES IT IS LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED"
I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE AN "ARMY" OF CARING AND LOVING FAMILY TO
HELP ME THROUGH A VERY HARD TIME. I SEND A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO MY
HUSBAND, JOHN, FOR BEING THERE EVERY STEP ON MY JOURNEY. I NEVER WAS
TO A TEST OR DR'S APPT. WITHOUT HIM BY MY SIDE (EVEN TO MY 10 YR. ONCOLOGY
APPT. WHEN I WAS RELEASED FROM HIS CARE IN 1998.) HE WAS MY ROCK.
ANNE, I SAY TO YOU "YOU ARE A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK" PUTTING YOUR EFFORT
INTO A VERY WORTHY CAUSE. I AM VERY PROUD OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND I KNOW
YOUR DAD IS WATCHING OVER ALL OF US.

Keep up the good work and let's hope and pray we will see a cure in the not too distant future.

Love,
Mom xoxoxo

3 comments:

  1. What a beautiful, beautiful post, and what a loving tribute to your mom. I can see why you are both so proud of each other, and rightly so.

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  2. Mothers are indeed special. It's so great you and your mom have such a good relationship.

    Happy Birthday AnneMarie's Mom!
    Brenda

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Idelle and Brenda....
      I'm sure these comments will make her smile! She sent me an email this morning...... and it was great to read (and I still SWEAR I don't know WHY she can't comment on her own)

      This is from mom to me:

      Anne,
      I don't know how to say thank you for today's blog. You know for sure that this one is going to a lot of people.
      I love you too, and may God always bless your "ANEW" calling in life.
      Mom xoxox

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