Each night, MJ says her prayers and blesses all the important people in her life. But the last name she whispers, the name she knows but for a person she has never met, makes me stop to catch my breath every time she says it.
It’s my mom’s name. And this week marks the tenth year we’ve been surviving without her.
Ten years ago on Thursday, my mom died of ovarian cancer. She battled the disease bravely for four years, and when we all thought she had kicked it on its rear, it returned more viciously and violently than ever, leaving us with only a few precious weeks before she passed away.
I could sit here and curse the unfairness of it all. How it sucks my mom never got to meet my incredible little girls. Or I could harp on the memory of crying in the Baby Gap nursing room because I couldn’t bear seeing the expectant moms and grandmas shopping for baby clothes.
But really, that’s no way to celebrate one’s life. So instead, I want to share a few ways my mom shaped my life, and in turn, how what I learned from her is shaping how I raise my little ones.
But probably the genetic trait I’m discovering more and more now is my tendency to forget things. In fact, every morning I get to play the game – what can Mom forget today? It’s super fun, and I’m always the winner because really no one can beat me in terms of absent-mindedness.
When I was younger, my mom’s forgetfulness irritated me at times. But today, although my own obliviousness is extremely annoying, I know it’s a side effect from focusing priorities on two wiggly, energetic little girls. If anything, Mom taught me sometimes that little memory door in your mind has to close every once in a while to open a bigger space in your heart.
So, this week, besides my usual “know the symptoms of ovarian cancer” spiel, I just ask that you hug your mom tight and hug your kids tighter. And if you can, let those little annoyances you kick yourself about slide this week.
By Nicole Plegge, Lifestyle Blogger for SmartParenting
Metro East mom Nicole Plegge is the lifestyle and pop culture blogger for STL Parent. Besides working as a freelance writer & public relations specialist, and raising two daughters and a husband, Nicole's greatest achievements are finding her misplaced car keys each day and managing to leave the house in a stain-free shirt. Her biggest regret is never being accepted to the Eastland School for Girls. Follow Nicole on Twitter @STLWriterinIL
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