Thursday, December 4, 2008

Another New Outlook

After my rants last week about how the holidays make me feel and all the wonderfully supportive comments I received and after reading this post from Grandma J, I have made a decision. In the weeks and months to come, I am sure that I will question it and my sanity but I think it is a right decision.

Cancer sucks. It is a mean disease. As I think back to the battle that my Mom had for those many years, it makes me angry. Angry that she would have to suffer the loss of her functionality, the loss of her hair, the loss of her memory, the loss....

It also makes me angry at myself. I was not the daughter I should have been. I was not the daughter she deserved to have.

During the time that she battled against this disease, I pulled away. Yes, I was a good little soldier and stepped up to the new responsibilities placed on me. I cleaned and did the laundry. I learned to cook. I got my driver's license early so I could shuttle myself and The Boss Man to school.

But I pulled away, emotionally. Building that damn wall. The one that was meant to protect me from the pain of losing her. I could not stand to see her in the nursing home and had to be forced to go.

That wall and the pulling away lead only to guilt. Guilt that I should have visited more. Guilt that I should have wanted to hold her hand as she lay helpless in the bed. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

Over the years, I have beaten myself up terribly over this. How could I have acted this way? Did she know that I loved her, even though I was so distant? Even now, I still feel this pain.

March 1, 2009 will mark 25 years since I lost my Mom. So I have chosen to channel this pain and anger into something constructive. Something to honor the memory of my Mom. Something to show that I am the daughter she deserved.

I have picked my battle and I may have bitten off more than I can chew. But I will be riding in the LiveStrong Challenge in Austin, Texas in October of 2009.

My personal goal is to ride the century (100 miles!) and raise $1000.00. I have joined with Team Fat Cyclist for a couple of reasons. First, I am a fat cyclist, like 60+ pounds of fat. Second, The Fat Cyclist is a fellow blogger. His wife is in the last stages of metastatic breast cancer. His strength and obvious love for his family has been an inspiration to me.

I have never been one that likes to ask for anything, much less money. (Especially when the economy is in the crapper!) But I think this cause is worthy and very few people have not been effected by cancer in one way or another.

If you can afford to make a donation, please do. If not, then please spread the word around to your friends and co-workers. I have put a link to my personal space at LiveStrong on the sidebar and a link to the Team Fatty page.

My Dad may not be happy about the F-bomb but Fuck Cancer! Maybe one day we can rid the world of it. Thank you for support in any form, whether it be a donation or a word of encouragement. Thank you.


Busy Bee Suz said...

You are so awesome to do this....100 miles???? wow.
You have to know that your Mom knew you loved her. But you were a child. You had no way of knowing how to deal with this. I was 25 when I lost my Dad, and it was SO hard to talk to him myself. I did not know how to deal with it at THAT age....You did the best you could. She is looking down and seeing what a great person you turned out to be...what more could a Mom want??? really.
Kudos to you for taking on this huge challenge. just wonderful.

Grandma J said...

How amazing are you? It makes me feel good that my post jolted just one person (you) to be proactive! What a wonderful cause too. You really stepped up to the plate...and your mom will be your biggest cheerleader, and your Dad has to be chuckling through his tears of pride about the F bomb because I'm sure in his own private moments he's used it too.

I lost my husband to Lymphoma when he was 43, and my brother to the same cancer at 52. I know I could have been a more caring and giving wife and's easy to beat ourselves up, isn't it?

I wish I could have donated more, but I do several fundraisers for Leukemia Lymphoma Society, and individual cancer kids. BUT...I will be in Austin to cheer you on.

BTW, when my grandson was going through treatment, his dad, who wasn't an athlete, and almost 40, trained for and rode three different century rides. I know you can do it....and you are raising money for a cure. How proud your mom must be!!

Big Hair Envy said...

WOW! You are amazing:) Count me in to support this great cause.

Your Mom is with you every day, and I think she is the one who has orchestrated this series of events. Her plan has finally fallen into place:)

You are going to reach that $1,000.00 goal before you can say, "....and I lost 60 pounds doing it"!!!

Pleasing Procrasinator said...

Wow!! This is great to hear, you are Amazing!!
I too believe your mom is with you and is very proud (as are we).
Count me in for support.

Monkey Toe Momma said...

I think it's awesome that you are doing this! You are such a strong person.
I'm sure that your mother knew you loved her - that it was hard for you. This is such a great way to pay homage to her.

My dad battled cancer for as long as I can remember. Ironically, he didn't die of cancer, but a fall from a hospital bed. Isn't irony a bitch. It will be six years this Christmas. I miss him all the time.

Anyhoo, did I mention that I think you are awesome?

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Awesome!!You'll have my support. I love your site. I'll follow along to cheer you on..I'm a wonderful cheerleader. It's just one tiny part of being a queen of all trades! Can't get rid of me now!

Travel Girl said...

I'm glad to hear you are part of the Fat Cyclist Team. I wish I could ride along. You've got my support.

Cool Breeze said...

I can't imagine everything that you went through.

Know that your mother loves you. She always has ... and always will.

Good luck on your noble challenge. You have my support.

smiles4u said...

I'm with everyone else...your mom knew it was hard for you and she knew that you loved her. Please take this from a mother that knows these kinds of things.
I am sure she is looking down at you in such awe and proudness, at what a wonderful person you turned out to be.
I am behind you all the way. Count me in for support.
You are an amazing woman that has been through quite a journey. because of these things you are able to reach out to so many people. Bless you for wanting to take something hard and turn it into a blessing for others. I know you will be able to do this 100 miles with no are a are a resilient woman.
Thanks for sharing those other links. I will look into them as well. Bless you, Lori

Desert Survivor said...

That sounds like a wonderful goal! I'll be supporting you. It will be great to train for and do something in memory of your mom.

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow. Now this, made my whole night bright! So beautiful! Count me in!