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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tribute To My Mom

I clearly remember the first time it really hit me. I was twenty-two years old, and had just started working at a Diagnostic Imaging Center. A sweet baby boy was brought in for an MRI by his parents, and despite the fact that his mother was holding him close and doing her best to soothe him, he cried uncontrollably.

I looked at my computer screen. The prep for his test included nothing orally for six hours prior to his appointment. That meant that this tiny little boy, who was probably still eating every two hours, had missed his last three feedings. Heartache was written all over his parents’ faces, on top of the worry they undoubtedly felt about the scan itself, and what the Radiologist would find.

My thoughts immediately turned to my own mother, who had lived out this very scene several times after my younger brother was born with a malignant brain tumor. I remembered stories about him being in the hospital. And I remembered her telling me just how hard those fasting tests were because he was often in so much pain, and the one thing that brought him comfort was his bottle. When that was taken away, it was excruiating for everyone. But until that morning, with that screaming baby in front of me, I hadn’t realized the enormity of just what my parents went through. In fact, there are four of us kids, and I don’t think any of us truly got it.

I wanted to pick up the phone right then, and let her know how sorry I was. Sorry that she had faced so much sadness and uncertainty as a young mother. And sorry that we took so much of what she did for granted.

The first few years of his life must have been so difficult and at times, downright terrifying. I’m sure the doctors didn’t even know whether or not he would survive. By the grace of God, I’m so grateful to tell you that today he is twenty-six years old, and both tumor and seizure free. But his road has been far from easy.

And my mom has traveled every step of the way, right along with him.

She has scheduled doctors’ appointments, tests, and parent-teacher conferences. She has been his advocate, and his voice. She has fought for him, and cried for him. She has been his daily caretaker, and his prayer warrior.

And I have no doubt that she will continue to do so for as long as she is able!

As if that wasn’t enough, she managed to open our home up more times than I can count to others who needed help. There were always additional children needing to be cared for, or members from our church needing fellowship and a homecooked meal. There were inner city kids, needing respite from their normal lives in New York, who came for the summer.

There were field trips to chaperone, and school lunches to pack. There were bedrooms to be cleaned, and bottomless laundry baskets calling her name. There were church duties and choir practices, and homework we needed her help with.

Since becoming a mother myself, I have many moments when I seriously wonder how she did everything she did. She wasn’t perfect, and she’ll be the first to admit it. But she truly lived by example and taught us what it meant to serve God, and to love our fellow man.

To this day, she is one of my most trusted confidantes and greatest sources of advice. She makes me strive to be a better mom to my own girls. I love her not only as my mother, but I also love her as my friend.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!!

I don’t know how you did it. But I’m so thankful you did.

Post submitted by Heather (imarriedrich) from UnionCountyMommies

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