The youngest was two.
When she went back to work as a Registered Nurse, she worked full-time.
And gave us twelve years of Catholic education.
When it was Sunday, we went to church.
If the Mass was for my deceased father at 7:00 a.m. on a weekday, we were there.
When the neighborhood kids got hurt playing football in our yard, she was there.
With peroxide and band aids in-hand.
When we were sick, she knew if we had a fever with a kiss on the forehead.
And we felt loved.
When we graduated from high school, we knew we’d be continuing our education.
We had already learned how important it would be to one day provide for our families.
When her parents were aging and we were grown, she moved out of our house and into theirs.
And took care of them.
When she was 55, she was told she had stage 4 ovarian cancer.
And faced her treatments with dignity and grace.
When she had her fourth remission and recurrence of cancer, she went into surgery.
Four hours later the surgeon said, “There’s nothing more we can do.”
When my brother and his wife went to a place called Medjugorje to pray for her, we got a miracle.
Our family’s faith was strengthened and her tumor shrunk 10 times without treatment.
When she went back to work as an ICU nurse, she also went to Medjugorje to say “thank you”.
And welcomed another grandchild.
When the cancer returned and the disease progressed, our priest came to visit.
He told us, “Her hope is that you all make the right choices throughout your lives.”
My mom spoke kindly, but didn’t have to say a word to teach us. We learned everything we needed to know by her loving example.
It’s how she lived her 60 years.