38 Years Ago


April 26, 1922-August 31, 1973

On this day, 38 years ago, my mother passed from this life into the next.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1972 and died within a year.  I was 13.  It was the first day of my freshman year in high school.

As a teenager, I had written some of my thoughts and feelings down about the pain of losing a mom.  When I was a freshman in college, I pulled out my old journal from 1973 and re-worked the raw words into a creative writing assignment for an English class.  The next week, as I came into the classroom, the professor approached me and asked for my permission to read my essay to the class.  It was the first time I’d ever heard someone else read my words aloud, to strangers no less.  When she finished, it was quiet for a long time.  I think I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since.

This morning I was looking for some papers in an old file cabinet in the basement.  As I opened up a dusty yellowed file, there it was: “You Win, Cancer, You Win”,  English 132 sec. 8,  January 25, 1978.  I had been looking for that paper for years and had given up hope of ever finding it.  I figured it had gotten lost in one of our moves.  But today, of all days, it found me.  Thanks, mom.

*For anyone interested, I have created a Page entitled “The Paper” where the college essay can be viewed.

7 thoughts on “38 Years Ago

  1. Thanks Mary! I thought you were trying to sound like one of the U.P.ers with that “you’s”! I’ll think about making a separate page on the blog for the paper…

  2. Hi Dinah, I was adding poems to my blog today and found and this one reminded me of you and your mom…

    They say memories are golden
    well maybe that is true.
    I never wanted memories,
    I only wanted you.

    A million times I needed you,
    a million times I cried.
    If love alone could have saved you
    you never would have died.

    In life I loved you dearly,
    In death I love you still.
    In my heart you hold a place
    no one could ever fill.

    If tears could build a stairway
    and heartache make a lane,
    I’d walk the path to heaven
    and bring you back again.

    Our family chain is broken,
    and nothing seems the same.
    But as God calls us one by one,
    the chain will link again.

    – Author Unknown

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