There comes a period of time every year, from April through May, until Mothers Day, where I struggle a bit. I haven’t written as much, my moods have been a bit glum, and it’s obvious to me why this occurs. It’s predictable, and no matter what happens, I seem to always slow down and feel a little sad.
This year marked the 10-year anniversary of my Mother’s death, and then about a week later I turned 34. Shortly thereafter, Mother’s Day rolls around.
This year differed a bit from those of the past. The 10-year anniversary was significant. It doesn’t feel as if it’s been 10 years. Every once in a while, I still pick up the phone to call her.
This year also marked the one-year anniversary since I initiated prophylactic surgeries to reduce the risk for cancers related to the BRCA gene that I inherited.
I was so young when my Mom died, I don’t suppose I ever had the chance to really know her as an adult. This year, I became a little bit closer to her.
Where there had been a void, I felt her presence.
Where there was fear, I sensed her bravery.
Where there were questions, I recalled her examples of advocating for oneself.
And in the midst of facing the unknown, especially those few foggy moments before I fell asleep on the operating table, I felt grateful for the chance at health that she was never able to receive.
This year, although there was sadness, there was a sense of pride, an acknowledgment of bravery that hadn’t existed in the same way before. That I had tested my genes, and taken proactive steps which reduced my risk for cancer, changed the way I perceived this period of time.
And for the first time, as a woman, I know my Mom.