(this pic was taken at the lake erie house mentioned below…taken in Jan of 06)
It came and I didn’t even catch it. I really can’t believe it’s been almost 2 years since my mom passed away. Roughly 2 years ago today, I entered the most difficult period of my life. The point where my mom’s battle with breast cancer went from something I knew that would work itself out to something that consumed my life for the next month.
I remember it so clearly. Julie and I had been fighting and we were driving up to her parent’s house at Lake Erie. Then the silence in the car was shattered by the ring of my cell phone. It was Tom, my mom’s fiance, calling, which I immediately knew wasn’t good. My heart sunk into my shoes. I answered with a fake “I”m ok voice,” and he told me he was in Houston with my mom, he had Andrea (my sister) on the line as well, and that my mom had a seizure yesterday. He went on..”they did some test, and the cancer has spread to your mother’s brain.” Wow, did it hurt. You can never really imagine how you’ll feel when you hear words like that about someone you love so much. I think I went into shock because I remained somewhat calm. Tom got off the phone and I talked with Andrea for awhile. We both were somewhat calm, and actually did our best to remain positive. I felt my spirits lift a bit, my mom was one tough cookie and I knew that some people made it through seemingly impossible odds, so why not her? Julie pulled off the highway into a Burger King parking lot and I got off the phone. Then I lost it. Never cried so hard in my life, my arms were shaking, my legs were shaking, and I couldn’t catch my breath. It was truly one of those surreal moments you could never imagine, where you are filled with such deep, intense emotions. It was something I’ll certainly remember for the rest of my life.
It’s a story that highlights the power of perspective, and how quickly things can turn on a dime. Literally moments before the call, Julie and I were at arm’s length arguing about who knows what, I was stressed and overwhelmed with how things were going with my business, and I was fighting off those anxious voices in my head saying “you’ve got to do this, and got to do that….” They all went away the moment I saw my caller-id. Sometimes life sends you a wake up call…”hey step out of the muck, and look at the big picture for a moment…what really matters most to you?”
My post from last year (which just reading now I realized is very similar to what I’ve written above)