Mary Ellen: Pretty in pink

mom and mike
My mom with my brother at his wedding in 1987.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It also happens to be my mother’s birth month. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988 at the age of 51, and died from it in 1990.

I’ve been well aware of breast cancer since her initial diagnosis. I don’t need pink ribbons, pink-clad football players, or pink anything to remind me of breast cancer. I think of my mom every day of my life, and—if just for a moment—about the disease that took her at such an early age. While I miss her to this day, any sorrow I feel over the loss of her life to the disease is turned away as I consider her life behind the disease.

My mom is a beautiful and loving woman. I didn’t fully appreciate that when she was here, but now, as a parent, I understand clearly the beauty of the love she has for my brother and me. Her example of selfless devotion in doing whatever it took to take care of us is something I strive to follow every day.

Mary Ellen—Mom—you’ve been gone for 25 years, but you remain firmly planted in my heart.

(Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of this tribute.)

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