Considering where we started nearly 26 years ago, when you asked to take home another child because I was so lanky and ugly, we developed quite a relationship.
One of the best things about you was that you didn’t just fill the Mom role for me. Beyond the maternal duties, you were a role model and an incredible friend. You were so selfless. You dedicated your life to making your kids happy. You took an interest in everything we said or felt, wanted to know everything about us, and wanted to do whatever was in your power to see a smile on our faces.
You were always so proud of us too. Anything we did was an incredible accomplishment to you. As I grew up I would hear ad nauseam about how I started reading the NY Times Sports section at age 3 and that when I began to speak that I just spoke sentences not individual words. You’d never let me live down that I would say “boom boom” after every song I’d sing as a kid.
You loved that fact that all of us were different and praised our differences as what make each of us individuals. You basically loved us for who we were. You always called me the independent one. You said that I had the confidence and ability to do whatever I wanted in life and reminded me every day that was possible. As much as my decisions were not always in line with your preferences, you always respected those decisions, made sure I had calculated any risks with questions of care and concern and then let me go.
I made several mistakes as a kid striving for my independence and wanted so badly to be able to do it on my own, but even when I would fail and your preferences were really the right ones all along, you’d still take me back in and give me the confidence to learn from my mistakes and try again. At some point, instead of the “I told you so” you would just remind me of how far I have come from my early years of being called your sunshine and wanting to grow to up marry you. Because of you, I know that I can accomplish anything, even to the point where I was able make a life for myself all the way across the country.
You went to war with the Cancer for over a year. During that time I remember thinking how positive and up beat you were nearly through the entire thing. You wanted to show me how strong you were and that nothing, not even a disease, could stop you. We’d be able to talk at 11pm or midnight because of the time difference and you even took pride in the fact that the steroids you were taking were keeping you awake, just because it gave you an additional moment to speak with your son. I decided to move home after your confidence began to waver because the most recent treatment was ineffective. It was in the beginning of April, and I told you that you always showed me how to fight for what I wanted and not to let anything stop you, and that you needed to persevere. You told me that you’d fight and make me proud, but knew that some things were out of your control.
Even when you were incredibly ill you still found ways to teach me life lessons.
Mom I know that you were proud of all of us. But I want you to know that I am proud of you too. You fought harder than anyone could have possibly expected. I would not be here, I would not be half the person I am, I would not be able to show affection as you have shown me or try as I have if it weren’t for you.
You are always in my heart, and I know that you will continue to shine and show me the way to be the best person I can be.
You are my sunshine….
I love you.