THRIVING Melanin Family Magazine May 2017: A Mother's Love - Page 20

Well we all had tears rolling down our faces, I assumed they were from laughing. I could only imagine what was going through the minds of everyone walking by us. I am sure we looked like absolutely horrible people that needed to be reported to someone or anyone. Strength My mom’s strength is what I envied the most. No matter what was thrown at her, she had the strength to overcome it. Losing her husband, raising us kids on her own, and fighting an excruciating battle with cancer. It was her strength and determination that kept us all going. It was a long and horrific battle at times. Many times, we thought we were going to lose her, but she pushed through it because she wasn’t ready to go. After one of her extended stays in the ICU, we finally got to take her home in a wheelchair. My sister in law and I decided it would be a great idea to take her on a trip to Pennsylvania. We figured as kind of a last hurrah to say goodbye to her brothers and one of her dearest friends because we really didn’t think she would recover. During our second bathroom break in the first half hour of our trip we began to question our decision and seriously thought about turning around. There was absolutely No Way she was letting us do that. About the third or fourth stop we were still “trying” to get the hang of the in and out of the car. We kind of got a little excited trying to figure it out and she sort of went flying across the back seat of the truck. As my mom was lying there floundering aimlessly across the back seat, like a new surfer paddling to catch her first wave, we realized that our system of you pull I push was seriously flawed. I would like to say that we held our composure, but none of us could stop laughing hysterically. 18 Once we finally pulled ourselves together we got that “Only You Girls” look that she always gave us when she was trying to act annoyed with us, but really wanted to laugh. We did eventually get her sat back up and situated so we could keep going. I know what you all must be thinking, but in my defense, we called it even for her leaving me at a gas station in Florida. (That is a story of its own). She was also a huge supporter of the Central New York Ronald McDonald House for the holidays. They were dear to her heart after all the time my sister spent there to be near my nephew. Every year we always had to watch the Jerry Lewis Marathon so she could donate, no matter how much we kids complained. the holidays and give them a gift for Christmas. My mom, even when she couldn’t work and was sick, was the first one to help. We gave away 10 gifts that year to single moms. This past year was our 5th year and we adopted 100 moms between local moms, moms in the Ronald McDonald House, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, and some women’s shelters. This is why I began my Adopt-A-Mom for Christmas Program when she was so sick. She had always done so much for the holidays for others and in 2011 she was so sick and our family was pretty down. Her favorite holiday wasn’t feeling much like the happy holidays for any of us. There are no words that can be said to really express how much I miss this woman. But I do know that she has been chuckling at us lately with her, “Only You Girls” expression. I can hear her saying it regularly. With the help of others, I decided to pick some local moms that needed a little pick me up for I love you and I miss you every day. Until we meet again. That was our last stop of the trip down, which turned out to be the best thing we could have done for her. I am not sure if it was her pure determination or because she feared for her life, but I am happy to say that we brought her home from Pennsylvania walking like she hadn’t in months. Caring and Compassion She was one of the most caring and compassionate women that anyone would ever meet. She would have given the shirt off her back if it was the last thing that she owned. As a kid, I remember going shopping with her to buy Christmas presents for families that couldn’t afford anything. The local Marine Corp Toys for Tots chairman always told her he could count on her to donate her pillows and other gifts to the program. THRIVE MAGAZINE THRIVE MAGAZINE 19