While some of you may be watching individuals get attacked at Best Buy, or waiting in long lines at your local mall, your patience might be wearing thin. I thought I would share a little humanity and love with you today. I have no interest to join in on any Black Friday sales, but I hope the story I share means you call your mother, or if you mom is no longer with you, whoever in your life you feel compelled to reach out to and tell them how much they mean to you.
When I read this I instantly had tears in my eyes. Actually they were running down my face. As someone who has lost my mom, I read the following letter and thought about my mom riding a bike again, and what it would be like to watch. But, I also had tears and a smile for Mindy and her mom. I’ve known Mindy for almost 20 years and I know many of the ups and downs she has had with her mom. Both with her own frustrations with her mom, and with her deep love for her. Mindy is not someone to ooze with bubbly ramblings about your place in her life. When she tells you what she thinks, you listen. This is her story to share:
“My Mom. A warrior. A breast cancer survivor. A woman who has been dealing with the debilitating disease MS (multiple sclerosis) for at least 15-20 years. She has been hospitalized 3x for an extended period of time within the last year. She walks with a walker, falls often, but always gets back up. She looks like a drunk person when she walks yet every step she takes is calculated and focused. A journey to get from one room to another. One foot in front of the other. Carefully. She repeats herself, forgets things often, or sometimes gets her facts mixed up. Maybe a result of the changing lesions on her brain and spine. I get frustrated with her. I am her primary care giver. Her only care giver. She has a string necklace she hangs on her neck with a plastic button that is her lifeline to 911 if she needs it.
But, with this frustration is a love I cannot verbalize. An admiration for an amazing women beyond words. She told me a few years ago it was her goal to be able to ride a bike again. I smiled. Normally, a very positive motivating person, but felt complete doubt and remorse for her. I didn’t believe her dream would ever come true. She worked with therapists. Tossing balls, balancing on her two feet, using elastic bands to build strength. But, I still never though the day would come. How in the world would she be able to balance on two wheels if she can’t even balance on two feet with a walker?
But, about 2 months ago mom made a purchase. She bought this bike. With three wheels. Ahhhh. Maybe her dream of riding a bike would come true. On occasion she would tell me she rode her bike that day. I secretly was worried, but would tell her how great that was. Yesterday. Yesterday she told me she rode 3 laps around her block. That is 1.5 miles! My mom. A warrior. A bike rider. I tried to capture in this photo the sense of shear freedom I see in her face when she rides her bike. I think my hand was shaking as I took the photo with complete awe. She has conquered the world. One pedal stroke at a time. Every second fighting for her life and freedom to be normal again. I never tell you this mom. But, I love you. Thank you for being my hero. Love, Mindy”
Oh, Mindy. What a wonderful mom, daughter, and friend you are each day. I appreciate and love you. You and your mom are both warriors. Bring it!