Last year was definitely the hardest year I’ve ever had. January my daughter was born. In March, my dad had emergency surgery on a cancerous tumor in his colon. He went through 9 months of chemo and radiation. In August, my husband and I quit our job. In December we moved to Atlanta. But in October, in the midst of all these things, both of my grandmothers died.
I can’t describe how weird this was. Neither of my grandmothers were a daily part of my life. My dad’s mom, Grandmama, lived in Israel for the past few years. My mom’s mom, Grandma, lived only a few hours away but she just wasn’t very involved in our lives and has had Alzheimer’s for the past few years. Even still, when they died, it was such a hole. It’s hard to imagine that my daughter won’t know either one of them. Both of them only met Lydia once. How could Lydia not know a whole part of my life?
Grandma died because of complications with Alzheimer’s and a fall she had. Grandmama died because cancer literally ravaged her body. But it started as breast cancer. She had a masectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. When it came back in her lungs, liver and other parts of her body, she just refused treatment. She moved from Israel and spent the rest of her time in California with her daughers. Daddy, Lydia and I got to visit her last summer. It was really sad to see her in pain, out of it and broken down.
My bestfriends (my sisterchicks) and I discovered this Christmas all of us have been affected by breat cancer—aunts, grandmothers and moms! So, we decided to run the Race for the Cure. I’ve never done this before–raced or been a part of an organization like this. I’m pretty excited about it because not only are we racing, our moms are racing, too!
The emotion is actually surprising to me. I don’t know if it’s coming across in my words or not. I feel like I’m really doing something for my grandmother and for my family. The emotion I had when Daddy was diagnosed with cancer at the same time as my grandmother is here when I think about racing. The strange dreams I had after they died are still with me. You can talk about death and watch it on TV, but until you experience someone close to you dying, I don’t think you can understand it. I want to always feel the emotion of their absence–not in a depressed, weird way, but in a way that honors them and my family.
If you’d like to donate to our team, you can click here or the link on the right.