Friday, May 18, 2012
Inspire: Arouse by divine influence
Inspire: To breath life into, to inhale.
Inspire: To stimulate action
Inspire: My wife Jan and I are breast cancer survivors. I can say that right? I mean, If Jan can claim that WE mulched the yard and WE moved all the heavy landscape rocks from the front of the house to the backyard then WE are breast cancer survivors. Our 3 kids were 8 months, 2 & 4 (now 7,9 & 11). How did WE do it? Who took care of Jan all day while I went to work? The baby? Got the kids ready for school and picked them up? Groceries? Laundry? How long did we need help?
Thursday, May 10, 2012
As we celebrate my mom’s 76th birthday & Mother’s Day this month, I realize what a survivor she is of breast cancer without ever being diagnosed. Being the mother of 5 girls she has watched us all battle bullying, heartache, happiness, pregnancy, miscarriage, sickness and worst of all breast cancer. I am a mother myself of two daughters. Young as they are now its hard for me to step back and let them fight their own battles, deal with their friends and basically grow up. I admire my mother because she is still standing even after losing my sister Charmaine over 2 years ago and she is still waging a war on Breast Cancer.
Have you seen her at the water station every year? That’s my mom, Carol. Her blue eyes sparkle on the corner where I grew up as she passes out the water to those running and walking in honor of her daughters and the others in our community fighting breast cancer. Her eyes should be a beacon for those who are in the throws of cancer especially the mother’s of those who suffer or those who are suffering. Think of the band aid you are constantly at the ready with and now imagine their is no band aid to take away what is happening to your own child. Like entering motherhood, there is no training or true book to tell you how to handle things when breast cancer invades your family so my mother did what she did best she kept everything normal. Having teenagers at home she made life “go on.” Sure being a true Irish woman, our house was spotless during Charmaine’s first diagnosis. She continued to work and in so doing she set an example for me. I realized that I had to keep going. I couldn’t let my grades slip or fall into bad habits. When is was her turn to battle the beast of cancer, Non-hodgkins Lymphoma she did the same thing. Life went on and so did she. She could take the chemotherapy and radiation because her daughter did. Not only has my mother seen the ravages of breast cancer take one daughter, but she has seen the triumph of remission in another and in herself.
I don’t always tell her but I am in awe. My mother is a fighter. Her tiny stature holds a warrior to be reckoned with. Yes, she has had her moments in which Charmaine’s, Julie’s and her own diagnosis have weakened her resolve but yet she bounces back. We joke with her about her compulsion to return everything (ask her about the 9 couches sometime) or her sweatshirt that says, “its all about me!” which is her mantra, but she deserves to have what she wants and to make it all about her. She’s 76 , grandmother of 13 and great-grandmother to almost 5 (one is due in July) but she has waged a war and I hope that the F.A.B. 5k can make her triumphant. She smiles, laughs and enjoys life because well that is what Charmaine did and so that is what my mom will do. If you are on the course of the F.A.B. 5k and see her (though its hard because she is so petite), say hi and realize you are in the presence of a warrior in the Fight.Against.Breast cancer!