Anniversary: You Have 100 Mothers

Support the American Lung Association

Today is the 42nd anniversary of my mother’s death from lung cancer. Sometimes, our moms give us career mandates when we are young; they want us to be lawyers or doctors, business executives or public service leaders or to just to be happy in our  chosen careers. I have had several different careers so far. However, one career mandate for me came from my mother’s death. I was looking to gain recruiting experience and ended up in the health industry. I am so glad on this anniversary that I had the chance to help recruit nurses and doctors for clinical oncology drug studies. I learned that:

*There really is hope for a cancer cure. The advances in cancer research since my mom’s death in 1969 have been tremendous, and today, many more people are surviving cancer.

Here are some other things that I learned through my own grieving process:

*Losing a mother whether you are 6 or 46 is a tremendously painful experience; however, to the handful of my friends who have lost their mothers this past year, it really does gradually get easier, especially if you recognize that:

*You have 100 mothers. Stepmothers, sisters, sorority sisters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends and mothers of friends all rock when they step in to fill the gap. You just have to reach out and ask; sometimes, you don’t even have to do that. These people just know when you need them. Many thanks to cousins and friends who also graciously stepped aside at times and willingly lent their moms when our family needed them.

*You cannot live the rest of your life in fear that you will inherit a deadly disease from your parents. Life is much too short and precious to live in fear. And there are others out there who need you to be present in their lives.

*You are responsible for you. Take care of yourself. You cannot force siblings to stop smoking, drinking or to take better care of themselves.

*Let go of anger and resentment. It is so easy to get caught up in anger and resent that we never had enough time with our mothers, whether we are the eldest or the baby of the family. You do not come out of the womb clutching a “Life Is Fair” contract. Sometimes, it just isn’t.

*You may not have the life you wanted. So what? Change it by helping others who need you. You may be surprised at what you get in return.

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2 Responses

  1. I don’t come to Career Planet to be reduced to tears, but you’ve managed to do that today – a first, so congratulations! 🙂

    You are so right. It does get better. There are, for each of us, a hundred mothers – let ma add my thanks to yours for those who step up. And we can’t live in fear or in resentment or in “if only”.

    Thank you for a great post.

  2. Glad to hear it is getting better for you. Check your email.

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