Her first radiation treatment was May 17th, 2012. Her last wish, before the treatments began, was to eat steamed crabs for Mother's Day. She ate them. And so did I. They were fabulous. And so was she. My mom.
She had a sore spot on her throat. It only bothered her when she ate tomatoes. Or drank Coors Lite. She thought it was just an annoyance. A boo boo that would go away. It didn't.
It was cancer. Then came the surgeries. And the claustrophobic mask fittings. To ensure the rest of her face wasn't subjected to the harsh rays. She endured radiation. Hospitalizations. And months on a feeding tube. Endless doctor's appointments. Exhaustion. The inability to talk on the phone. A near daily occurrence for us. Before.
She was unable to work. Or keep her beloved grandchildren for sleepovers. It was hard for her to swallow. Anything. Even water. Her mouth was burned. Her throat was burned. But she didn't give up.
Today, Mother's Day 2013, she ate steamed crabs. And so did I. They were fabulous. And so was she. My mom.
To my mother on Mother's Day,
I didn't ask to be born. But boy am I glad I was. Thank you for creating me. Thank you for carrying me. Thank you for giving birth to me.
Thank you for hugging me. And kissing me. Thank you for showing me right from wrong. And to always say 'please' and 'thank you'. You led by example.
Thank you for teaching me. Lots of things. Like the importance of a hand written thank you note. And how to smile. At everyone. Even when you may want to punch a couple of them in the face.
Thank you for always believing that the glass is half full. I can't imagine life any other way. But full. I know that mine is. Because of you.
Thank you for cursing me. With multiple children that act exactly like me. I couldn't live without them. For they have made me a mother.
Thank you for telling me to never doubt myself or my beliefs. That is why I never doubted you.
Thank you for setting rules and curfews. Making me roll my eyes. And let's be honest, driving me absolutely crazy. I guess I can't blame it on the children after all.
Thank you for all of the unsolicited advice. I didn't want it. But now I realize, I desperately needed it. Now I'm glad I held onto it. In my heart. Most of it anyway. I wish I would have written the rest of it down.
Thank you for making me feel okay about driving my own children crazy. I know they will thank me one day. Just like I am thanking you.
Thank you mom. For eating steamed crabs today. Happy Mother's Day.
Love You More Than All The Tea In China