I was reading the list of blogs that I follow, and I was moved to tears by today’s post on http://chefdruck.blogspot.com/2009/10/i-never-thought-there-would-be-scars.html. I have met Vanessa and I think very highly of her. This post was personal.
And it was personal to me. I guess I couldn’t have been much more than a year to a year and a half old when Mom was diagnosed with cancer the first time. Obviously, I remember nothing of this time. But I know that with seven children ranging from age 14 to 1 ½ years old, it could not have been easy. She went through a mastectomy and a hysterectomy, followed by radiation. From what Dad told me, it was pretty awful. Much different back then than it is now.
What I do remember, is a woman of such beauty and grace that I could not help but want to be like her. She was funny and talented and crafty and just plain fun. And could she cook! My dad would boast that Mom could taste something once and go home and recreate it. (What fun she’d have today!) She had loads of friends and lit up a room when she walked in. She bowled and was a mean (in a good way) euchre player. And she taught second grade.
She was also a woman of deep and great faith. Not just religious, but incredibly faithful.
My father adored her. She was the love of his life.
What I remember was that to know my mother was to love her.
I had just turned eleven. I knew she was sick. But my childhood to this point had been storybook. Little did I know that my life was about to change forever. All of our lives changed forever.
On March 8, 1970 Mary Jo Bayly passed away at age forty five.
And her family grieves to this day.
This blog is dedicated to my mother and is part of American Cancer Society's More Birthdays Blog Chain.