My mother Catherine (Cathy) was an amazing example of strength and determination combined with heart and a fabulous sense of humor.
I learned how to read, put puzzles together, appreciate differences, enjoy friends, and the importance of coffee combined with quiet time. My mom, I always felt, had a lot on her mind, but didn't share it freely. I think she always felt she needed to protect us from the truth about what she really had going on. It started when we were young with her being concerned about her weight. I remember as a child my sister Layne and I waiting in the car as my mom went to her Weight Watcher meetings. I remember the food scales in the kitchen and her measuring her portions for dinner. The only thing I don't remember, was ever thinking my mom was overweight? I remember her passion for wanting to surprise us with our favorite things, while making sure we knew how to work for them and appreciate them, even though we may not have wanted to at the time.
Sadly, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 12. I remember that day like it was yesterday. This is also where I started learning real life lessons, the hard way. Parts of me feels like my life really began when I was 12. It's when I saw my dad cry for the first time, it's when my mom opened up and started talking to us about her life and what she would really like to see out of it. I'm the youngest child so I was the one who witnessed and saw the most of my moms disease. Watching her deterioration, successes, and determinations were the things I learned and remember the most. She was passionate about life, family, friends, and quiet time. She loved a good book, to laugh hard, and a hot cup of coffee.
Growing up I thought my mom was an angel. Now, I know she is. If I'm half the mother she was, I know I've succeeded.