This would have been my mother's birthday. Instead of spending the day celebrating with her, I brought flowers to the cemetery for the 5th year. She died too soon.
But of course everyone who loses someone they love says they lost them too soon...even if they've lived a nice long life.
My dad died at the age of 64 of lung cancer. He died one year short of retirement. My mom died almost 3 years later. I always say she died of a broken heart. She and dad never got to retire and enjoy life together the way silver-haired couples do. In fact, neither one of them were gray-headed when they died!
How else can I explain my mom's sudden death? She was healthy and active for a woman in her 60s. She had JUST had a full physical at my insistence because I did not want to lose her to cancer too. And out of the clear blue sky, she has a stroke while chatting with me on the phone and dies 8 days later. Yes. She died of a broken heart and left me and all those she touched with one too.
I miss her more than words can explain. It does bring comfort that my parents are together, if not in an after-life then at least technically buried together at the National Cemetery. But it brings only a little comfort...because they should be here living this life with me!
While their deaths have been tragic experiences in my life, it's also shaped the landscape of my career and my personality in positive ways. I've become pretty strong and resilient. I'm obsessively striving to achieve more, learn more, and help more. I don't play games and I don't waste time because I know life is so short and there is purpose to everything I do.
I've turned my passion of lung cancer patient advocacy into a full time career. No one will ever have to go thru the lung cancer journey alone because of the support that is available now. We didn't have that in 2002. So I created it.
I've turned my passion for writing and social media into a career too. I didn't have my biggest supporter (dad) and my best friend (mom) here to talk to...so I began to write and talk to everyone!
I manage over 30 social media accounts and put together incredible blogs on survivors and co-survivors that raise awareness and inspire hope.
I use everything I've experienced to help others because I know how important it is to have support, resources, guidance and hope. That's what the deaths of my parents have taught me.
I still miss them, everyday.
Happy Birthday, Ma.