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It has been almost a year since my Mom passed away. She was a few weeks shy of her 68th birthday. I  miss her very much. Every day.  

She was my best friend and my confidant. She was many things to the many people she knew. She taught us all many lessons by example of her life.

My Mom went in to the hospital for the veins in her legs to be cleaned out in May 2007. While there recovering they discovered she had stage 4 lung cancer. The news wasn’t good since she really had no symptoms and we were not prepared. My Mom had lost her sister, cousin and best friend all within a month of each other in Sept 2006. So maybe there was symptoms but due to sadness she just missed them or ignored them.

Well my Mom being the woman she was got right to work preparing things. Things that she said she should have done before. She reviewed and revised her will and finances. Told us that we needed to be better prepared than she was. She started going through every thing at home. Dividing things up to give to different people. The local library received tons of books and videos. Salvation Army also received a lot of stuff. My Mom would say constantly that she did not want us to hoard her things because we would be sad and be missing her. She made it clear that we were to sell or donate. Make sure to get receipts and claim on income tax. She wanted us to benefit from her being a pack rat.She realized some things were meant for the trash. Such as her collection of pictures of Viggo Mortenson. She loved him along with Elvis Presley. My sister Jenny got her country music collection. My sister Kim got her rock music. And I her baby received all her celtic, american indian, classical and phantom of the opera music collection.

My Mom didn’t expect us to go to college or work or be homemakers.
She expected us to follow our own path that would lead us to happiness.
She was not judgemental of our choices unless it made us unhappy.
She encouraged us to do what we thought would make us happy but also not allow us to be dependant on others to make us happy.

I grew up next door to a city that has the largest Arabic community in the US. My parents were raised in the city of Detroit. A city where the long standing mayor did not care for suburbanites. For my Mom there were certain words or expressions that were not allowed. I remember using a phrase that I heard in school. Well once I said it I learned it was NOT appropriate in any form. My Mom really frowned upon discrimination of any kind. I learned that regardless of who a person is they deserve your respect until they have done something to discredit themselves.

My Mom also taught us to have matter what the circumstances were.
She taught us how to TP peoples houses. Normally we would only TP our own family or close friends. October was always a month to be on edge or to be the 1st one to get everyone.

My Mom raised us to know that we mattered. That we were important. That we were special.  

She also taught us about compassion, forgiveness and patience.

She taught us that a smile will take us further than a frown. A simple hello was more sincere than anything else.

My Mom taught us about strength and confidence. She taught us to have a healthy self esteem. That we were perfect just the way we were.

My Mom’s last lucid moments were on New Years Eve 2007. Hospice was just brought in the day before. She knew. She planned it to the last minute.
We had a toast with her and a few neighbors. We all sat around her bed talking and smiling.
My Mom’s words to me were “don’t be sad and if you must, don’t be sad for long“.

My Mom passed away on Jan 3, 2008

I will always cherish my memories of her. I can only hope and pray that I am half the woman she was.  


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