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Wednesday, May 4, 2011



There was one specific thing that I left out and wasn’t sure as to whether to put it in or not but I decided to add it like this. My mom found out she had cancer and didn’t want to know how long she had to live. I found out through her doctor: It was three months. There was no way I would have told her. And I am an only child.

She was in and out of the hospital so many times prior to that last week. I stayed with her day and night that week and by Wednesday, she was in a coma. As per her wishes with her living will, I called her doctor and he took her off of the feeding tube and upped the pain medicine. I know she could hear me despite what some people think—I just know it.

Her favorite television show was “The Golden Girls:” She’d watch the reruns whenever they were on. At 7:10 p.m . on that Friday, that show was on the television in her hospital room and at that very minute, she rolled over and took her last breath on my face. I had been right beside her.

How strange that she had given me the breath of life and that her last breath of her life was on me--much more than ironic as I really didn’t take it all in till about a week later. And then it hit me full force. And the realization that I no longer had a mother was inconceivable and a rude awakening came thundering down upon me.

All of us, when we are little, can’t fathom the thought of our parents not ever being there and just thinking about it puts fear in our hearts. As we get older, we come to grips with it but pretend it won’t happen—at least not to us. None of us are every ready to lose a parent and especially a mother—but it happened to me and no doubt to countless of you, the readers. And so, once again, I have to say celebrate your mother is she is alive; if she’s gone, remember that she also gave you the breath of life. And rejoice in that fact.

Sherry Hill

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