I don’t plan to be inspired. But it does just happen….as is the case with ParaOlympian, Caitlin Sarubbi. How else to describe a young woman who has overcome all odds to become a member of the US Adaptive Ski Team? Caitie is visually impaired, skis with a guide and qualified for FIVE alpine events in Vancouver.
When I was 18 years old, a senior in high school, my mom was given six weeks to live.
Her diagnosis progressed from a bleeding ulcer to pancreatitis to pancreatic cancer. She was fading away before our eyes, losing weight, struggling to mask the unbearable pain from my dad, brother and I.
We didn’t have health insurance. The City of Hope in Los Angeles came to our rescue….taking her in, performing her surgery and sharing the news that she had been, amazingly, misdiagnosed.
She did not have cancer.
What I remember vividly from that time…..saying goodbye to her. Since it was possible she wouldn’t make it through surgery, we each….my dad, my brother and I, all had moments with her. Moments where she struggled to pack a future’s worth of advice into ten minutes.
Be nice to your brother. Take care of your dad – he’s going to need you. Remember you can be and do absolutely anything you want. Remember, no matter what, I will always be with you.
We walked with her as far as we could. They put her on the elevator, facing out. My dad, my little brother and I stood up straight, held hands, smiled to surround her with strength, mouthed ‘I love you’s’ and held our breath as the ice cold doors slid shut.
And then we crumbled.
Surgery was half the time it should have been. The doctors swore what they were seeing in her was cancer, but it wasn’t.
She would recover. And she did.
She was there when I graduated from high school and from college. She helped me get ready on my wedding day. She has held both of my babies.
She is a Nana. She is a wife. And she is my mom.
Even though she lives almost 2000 miles away….and I don’t see her nearly as often as I would like. I know that I can. And that matters.
Thank you, Mum – for always being there. I love you.
Do you live far away from your mom and would like to be reunited with her for a special occasion?
Procter & Gamble is doing something amazing through “Thank you, Mom Reunions”. They are reuniting more than 100 moms and kids (between now and November) for those special milestone moments.
- Head to ThankYouMom.com
- Submit your story (100 words or less) explaining why you would like to be reunited with your mom (or the mom figure in your life)
- Encourage your friends and family to vote.
- 15 winners will be chosen every month between now and November
- Winners will receive a travel voucher to help cover the cost + a digital video camera to capture the reunion (which you can share on ThankYouMom.com if you want!)
From the ThankYouMom.com site:
ELIGIBILITY: This promotion is open only to residents of the 49 United States (excluding Maine) and the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Employees of Procter & Gamble, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion and internet agencies and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each are not eligible. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void in Maine and where prohibited by law.