This is what brings us to my mom, Deborah. Being single with four kids, she has always been determined, dedicated, steadfast and headstrong. The type of woman who saw the world as equally a gift and a challenge.
One of my most enduring memories took place in 1991. My mother single-handedly loaded all four of her less-than-easy-to-handle kids into our green VW “bus” and was set on taking a family vacation across the country to Mt. Rushmore. No matter the obstacle, we were going, we were bonding and we were going to have the time of our lives! Over the next month and a half, she drove through 27 states, braved a hurricane, averted floods and white-knuckled day and night through torrential rain. It didn’t matter what was thrown her way – she had a goal for us. After what seemed like forever, we finally made it… and, as luck would have it, it was too cloudy to see the faces of the Memorial during our stay. But she succeeded in bringing the 5 of us closer and creating a trip we would not only remember but one that was full of lessons that would serve to guide us through adulthood.
Living with a blood disease for 2 decades, her life has always been like that epic vacation. And forever true to herself she has fought with the grace and grit that inspires movies. Though that strength isn't even the most amazing thing about my mother. Despite the constant setbacks and debilitating pain that comes with a degenerating disease, she has done more for others than any able bodied person I've ever met.
The latest chapter of life has been especially tough. Our hero found herself fighting an uphill battle with ovarian cancer. She has been subjected to eight weeks of radiation this past year. All of the wonders of modern medicine, yet there is nothing that can be done. She has been rendered so weak she spends most of her days laying in bed, wondering if each time we say goodnight and turn out the lights if it will be her last. In a basement room with a window she can't even see out of she wonders, sometimes accidentally out loud, if she is already in her grave.
Our mom used to say, “money is not everything,” but all of us know the caveat to that is that some money could make some things a little easier.
The point is this: time with my mom is dwindling. My wish for her is to rent a bus/van/RV for one final trip across the country with her four children. One where together we brave those storms, avoid the hazards, white knuckle it, and drive through the torrential rain for her. A trip that is something sweet and memorable to an end where she doesn’t lie in a bed and watch the flick of a switch for one last time. This end is instead one where she can watch the sun set in a cloudless sky one final evening and close her eyes knowing that in all this chaos, she was, is and will always be our hero.
Anything you wish to contribute is humbly accepted and greatly appreciated.
Thank you for taking your time to read this. We love her and by her teachings in turn, we love you.
- Sandrine Agnez
- Richard Park
- JJustin Moore
- Mark Strassburger
- Sachiko Morita
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