Everything Else

The Woman I Never Met

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When Rachel said that she was dedicating the month of October to raising awareness for Breast Cancer on her blog, I knew without a doubt I wanted to be involved. Breast cancer touches all of us in some way.

I know a woman who has been in remission for over five years.

I knew a woman who lost her fight with breast cancer last year.

The most profound loss I’ve felt, was the loss of a woman I never even met.  My college roommate M lost her mother to breast cancer shortly before we met.  I don’t think there was a time M can remember when her mother wasn’t fighting breast cancer. She fought it for many years but in the end the cancer took over.

When M and I became roommates (through other friends) we didn’t know each other. We would stay up late into the night talking about life and death.  She had recently lost her mother and I had recently lost my beloved grandmother.  We bonded over our grief and tears.  She had lived with the looming chance that her mother wouldn’t stay in remission and that possibly she would lose her.  I was blindsided by the suddenness of my loss.  She gave me a different perspective on living and coping and carrying on.  I would often wonder what I would do if I couldn’t call my mom and cry or ask for advice.

M was living what I couldn’t fathom.

As we talked, I learned who her mother was and how she raised her children.  I learned what was important to her, what she valued and what go her through some of her darkest and most difficult days.  I learned of her love for fruit trees.  Even though we had never met, in many ways I feel I have come to know M’s mother.

Watching her mother struggle and fight cancer has effected M in more profound ways than I can ever imagine.  She admitted she was afraid to have kids.  She feared something would happen to her and she would leave them motherless, as she had been left.  She said it was an inexplicable pain she wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Many years have passed since we were college roommates but M is still one of my closest friends.  She is now mom to two adorable children.  We recently talked about honoring, remembering and teaching our kids about the loved ones we’ve lost. She said sometimes it was too much and too hard to talk about her mom.  She wants her kids to know who their grandmother was, why she’s missed and how important she is.   M perseveres and I know her children will come to know the woman who has touched all of our lives.

written by Jill R

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No mother, no woman will ever be forgotten.

No daughter, should lose a mother to this insidious disease.

No woman should lose a friend.

No mother should lose her daughter.

No one should die from this disease.

Please help us to find the cure.  Donate today.

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