A decade

Just FYI: there's no actually knitting in this post. So maybe come back in a couple of days, if that's more your cup of tea.

Ten years ago today, I was sitting in a waiting room in a Boston hospital, waiting for my mother to come out of surgery. A few weeks before, she'd called me at my aunt's house in DC to tell me that her GP had found a lump in her breast, and she'd been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. I was in the midst of finishing my dissertation, and it felt like someone had just pulled the rug out from under my feet. Thankfully, my thesis was mostly written, and I submitted it and flew to Boston the day before my mom had a lumpectomy and further biopsies to see if her lymph nodes were involved.

Thankfully, the cancer was localized, the lumpectomy was successful, my mother took Tamoxifen for five years and has been cancer free ever since. Seven days after her surgery, she and my father were in the audience for my dissertation defense. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever had the privilege to witness.

My mother's cancer was my first experience with my parents' mortality. Since that time, I've moved across the country, gotten married, had two children of my own, and then moved across an ocean. My mother has retired, moved from the city to mostly rural Maine, and jumped in to grandmother-hood with her full enthusiasm. She gave my Dad a puppy for his birthday this year, and he arrived a few weeks ago. She has more strength and love and determination then almost anyone I think I've ever met. And I am so grateful to her doctor for seeing what was there on her mammogram, and recognizing it for what it was. I am grateful to her for getting the mammogram in the first place. And I am so grateful that my daughters have the opportunity to experience what a fabulous person their grandmother is.

This post was inspired by the people who should be here this spring, and aren't. You are so very much missed.