Posts Tagged ‘moms’

Last November, I was on a phone call with my mother.

We were always in email contact- but I always made regular phone calls since the old man wasn’t “on email” or on “the machine.”

Usually I ¬†spoke with Mom first and then she would let Dad know I was on the line. As if if he didn’t already know.

Always preempting it with, “Pat, pick up! It’s your favorite daughter!”

This call was different. There was something in her voice.

I immediately asked, “What’s wrong? ¬†Are my brothers ok? Is it Dad?”

She said,”No, it’s me. I have breast cancer.”


My Mom.

She proceeded to tell me the details and sounded very positive.

I was able to relay something I heard at an American Fundraiser here in Kuala Lumpur the previous month, “There are more women living with breast cancer than dying from it.”

I’m glad I had this in my grab bag because I am not sure how I would have handled it.

It’s my mom.

Do you know how excruciating it is to be so far away?

Dad gets on the phone.

I said, “Mom shared with me.”

He says, “I didn’t want her to tell you kids. I didn’t wan’t you to worry.”

I said, “Dad, I get that. But what if she needed a woman to talk to about it? Someone besides you??”

There was a sigh on the other end of the line. He hadn’t considered that.

Glad I shocked him into that.

I get that. I’m the same. We all want to protect our kids. We don’t want them to worry. Ever.

But that’s not always fair.

The funny thing is that my mother is probably the first person I would call if I was sick or needed help. Maybe I am just a baby and selfish. Or maybe that’s how it goes.

Our lives would soon change. Not due to Mom’s breast cancer and then a lung cancer diagnosis three months later. But because my Dad faded away in the midst of it all.

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I spoke to my parents this morning. They are in little old Rhode Island and I am here in Malaysia. So many miles between us.

When I hung up the phone I knew how incredibly blessed I was to have those two as my parents.

Don’t want to get sappy. Doesn’t happen often with me but sometimes there’s seepage. A couple of months ago I got choked up while talking to Mom.

I said before I hung up, “Mom, I just want you to know how much I love you.”

She said, “Oh, honey, I love you, too!”

“I know that, Mom, but I really just want you to know that you are the best mom and I want to thank you for that. I really appreciate everything you’ve done and do.”

She said, “I know that. You have shown that, in countless ways, through the years.”

Did it again today. Felt that overwhelming need to tell her how I felt. So I did. But when she heard me getting choked up she got quiet. She said she loved hearing what I was saying but felt badly that I was upset and crying. Being the mom.

I said, “No, don’t feel badly. I am fine. I just want you to know how happy I am to have you guys in my life. In my world. Don’t know what I would do without you.”

Maybe I am just getting old. Maybe it’s the distance. Or maybe I just need to let the people in my life know exactly what they mean to me.

I remembered, long ago, reading a story. Maybe it was a joke about the demonstrative Irish. I tried to find it but couldn’t. Google is not GOD.

So, this is how I recall it.

An Irishman is on his deathbed. We’ll call him Seamus.

His wife (let’s call her Bridget) is sitting by his bedside and says, “Seamus, Seamus, before you leave me, please answer me this. Did you love me?”

And he answered incredulously, “Ach, woman, surely you knew it all along!”

I think it is really important that all the people in your life know how you feel about them. You can’t assume. You have to tell them.

Show the love, yes. Just don’t forget to also tell the love.

Nothing bad gonna come out of that.

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