Today, June 10th, would have been my mom’s 84th birthday. It’s strange to think of her as 84 since she was only 66 when she died. I mean, I work with people in their 80s all the time at the Council on Aging, so I know what women in their 80s are like, but picturing my mom at that age? Difficult. Then again, I was only 32 when she died and now I’m getting closer to 50 every day. And Hannah? She was 5.
This picture is from Hannah’s 3rd birthday in September, 1995. So, 18 months before my mom died. She was fighting the cancer then and looking and feeling pretty good. Truly, she felt pretty good until about 3 months before she died and then – well, then she tried an experimental treatment at Dana Farber and it took a lot out of her and she just never really bounced back. She got weaker and the fight was just gone. I think she sort of gave up at that point. The doctor had told her 3 years and it had been 3 years and I think she figured, well, I’ve fought long enough and I’m tired and I’m done. I certainly don’t blame her and I’m grateful for every day I had with her.
If she was here today she’d be coming over to celebrate her birthday with us. She’d be demanding and expecting my best effort and probably driving me nuts. I’d be stressed out about making sure her birthday was good enough, that the birthday dinner I’d cooked was up to her standards, that the present I’d picked was something she liked. Those of you with strong willed mothers and challenging relationships with them understand.
And still. I’d be thrilled to have her here. To have her give me a hard time. To have one more chance to please her and show her how much I loved her.
To take a picture of her at 84, me at 49 and Hannah at 22.
Happy Birthday, Mom. I miss you every day.