Friday, March 4, 2016

Lesson #2 - One Summer

As I perused the New York Times' Best Seller List, I was in search of another one of those books you can't put down!  My eyes were drawn to One Summer  by world renown author David Baldacci .  My expectations were surpassed within the very first paragraph. The hook unveiled family, death, perseverance, and heroism before I had a chance to turn a single page.  Jack Armstrong was trying to hold on for just one more month so he could share one last Christmas with his wife and 3 children before he succumbed to his dire illness.  As one page unfolded after another, the plot brought many emotions; emotions that spilled out onto my face, emotions that made me scream for joy, but most of all...emotions of anticipation and empathy!

On page 56 the author states, "Jack had no ready answer.  But he did know one thing.  He was not going to waste a second chance at living."  Jack persevered through the adversity of his death sentence, through the unexpected death of his wife and through the isolation of losing his children.  This passage embodies my life back in December of '97 when my mom almost surrendered to cancer.  That year brought new life for me, my mom and my family.  The once Mom who I thought was just the typical mom, embraced me with knew vigor and meaning.  The Mom who had languished through and prevailed through Cancer silently, attended my graduation with no hair, with no light but with dignity and with fight.

As a teenager, I remember the days where I looked at my mom with resentment for the rules that were placed upon me... feeling as if I was just coexisting in the family.  I could never understand why my friends were able to do what they wanted, and why my mom had a different plan for me.  The day she attended my graduation changed everything.  Doctors instructed that she not attend my college graduation, for they felt she was too frail for the trip and the heat that would engulf the ceremony.  Her exact words I will never forget, "If this is the last thing I do, I will not miss my daughter's graduation."  Her character has helped me become the person I am today.  She is a mother of two, a devoted wife of over 25 years and loving grandmother.   She beat cancer!  She continues to educate and bolster everyone who walks in her path.  She has not wasted a second chance at living.

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