Archive | 8:26 PM

Day 134: lovemore monday: show up for what you love

14 May

Today I received a photo via email.
It is a photo of my mother, my father and me when I was a college freshman in the throws of saying my last goodbye to my parents, right before they drove away from campus.

This photo looks like any freshman family saying goodbye.
Parents about to become empty-nesters. Student about to enter the hallowed halls of higher learning. Roommates about to turn into life-long friends. Terrible 90’s permed hair about to go away.

What you don’t know from this photo is that my mother and I had just finished months of cancer treatment.

What I didn’t know at the time was that my mother had been given less than a 20% chance to live one year.

What kept her alive was her desire to see me graduate from high school.
And, her desire to be present for this very hug, on this very day, that was captured on film (yes, film — 20 years ago it was film! Thank you Steve Reed!).

It was my mother’s goal.
It was her vision.
She swore to me that it was what kept her alive, long past the doctor’s predictions.

I had no idea.
I learned this information five years later  — while Mama Sling was reading her diary to me.  I flew home from my first big-girl-real-world-job to be with my mother while she  recovered from reconstructive breast surgery. In the days we spent together, me tending to her needs in one of life’s many turnabouts, she read to me from her diary.

That’s how I found out her reason to live through a grim and incomprehensible prognosis —  to see me graduate from high school.

I found this out after I had graduated from high school and two colleges.  She attended THREE graduation ceremonies with me in cap and gown.  And, it was after all three, five years later, that she told me she only had a 20% chance to live one year.

I think of this story often.
Because I know, deep inside my heart, even in times of doubt, that what others say does not go.  It is not law.  It’s just a best guess.

People beat the odds everyday.

They live longer, run faster, throw harder, perform better.

As long as they have something to look forward to.
Something to be there for.
Someone or something to love.

So, on this LOVEMORE MONDAY, I just want to say this:
Here’s to showing up for what you love.

And, that’s why:
I. Love. It.

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