Well, as most of you know today is the first Wednesday of the month and it is time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group or The IWSG as it is affectionately called. It is a day for us writers to vent, support, or just plain speak our minds. The founder, Alex Cavanaugh created this group many, many months ago. And I am happy to say the group keeps enlisting more writers every month. If you would like to become a member feel free to drop by Alex's blogsite.
This month's IWSG happens to fall on a sad day for me. Fifteen years ago I lost my mom very unexpectedly. She went into the hospital a few weeks prior for a routine operation. Sadly she had never left. I had just moved to Florida from Las Vegas where my parents had retired. I gave it a try for three years and it was time for me to leave. I moved into a stunning two bedroom apartment on a crystal blue lake in Fort Lauderdale away from the cold, arid desert, forever landlocked. Mom was to fly down and leave the winter to recuperate in the sun. She loved the beach and my place was only a few miles away. But the scenic oversized lake, the haven for egrets, blue herons, ducks and dragonflies, would have been a welcome sight for her while sitting on the terrace smoking a cigarette with her morning coffee.
I had left the week of her operation. She had assured me to move and not to worry. My dad and brothers were there, so I felt fine leaving. As I had said before, this was strictly a ROUTINE operation. The operation was successful, but for some odd reason the doctor couldn't regulate my mom's sugar diabetes. She wasn't a bad diabetic, only a small pill once a day. Apparently they had missed a kidney issue in the pre-testing stage.
Each day Dad called me with her ups and downs. At this point it wasn't terminal. Well, two weeks later she died. At the time I had my own health issues. That was the thirteenth month of my crippling arthritis. I was limping badly on crutches, and I didn't have the physical or emotional strength to handle this situation. Thankfully I spoke with my mom the day before she died. That night her spirit had visited me. It's true. She smiled and said goodbye. It was her time to go and she had said now it was my job to look after my dad and middle brother, who both NEEDED a lot of looking after ... I told her I didn't have the strength, that she couldn't leave yet. She smiled again. "You are the only one like me Michael, you haven't even begun to realize how strong you really are ... one step at a time ... even on your shaky legs." A tear slid down my face an she was gone.
Even in death, my mom kept her sense of humor. I knew before the phone rang, that she had gone. Then the family drama started... That is another story.
I wanted to honor my Mom today because of all the people I have ever met in my life she was NEVER insecure. She lived her life with style, passion, an iron fist, and a very kind heart. No matter what curve ball was thrown at her, she caught it and mashed it into pieces. Even after she was diagnosed with cancer many years prior, and was given only a year to live, she told the doctor, "There's no way I worked for thirty years and I'm not collecting my Social Security!" That was my Mom, always feisty and ready to fight head on. She lived almost fifteen years longer and did collect her SS. Funny, it wasn't the cancer that ended her life... it was a misdiagnosis. So PLEASE remember to get three or even four opinions before any surgery.
So, in my INSECURE moments, when I am having a rough time, I draw on my mom's strength. Even in death, her spirit is a force to be reckoned with. So in honor of her and ALL you parents out there, I respect you because your job isn't easy. You persevere and keep you little ones on the right path. Remember that love will give you the strength you need because there is no force more powerful than love.
Have a wonderful day everyone and give your MOM a big hug today!