That’s my beautiful Mother, Nancy Gilmore, in the picture above, in the bikini. After having three kids. I know.
I almost lost her when I was a kid—just a few years after that picture was taken.
My parents had divorced and we had moved to Louisiana, the New Orleans area. My Mom was a nurse. She found a lump. I was about twelve years old. Looking back now, I don’t think I fully understood what losing my mom at that age would’ve been like. I know I didn’t.
I don’t know what I would’ve done.
I don’t know what I would’ve done.
I don’t know if I would’ve made it. I would’ve had a completely different life.
October is national:
Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
And it’s, of course, not just about pink ribbons. Although they are pretty. And it’s not just about turning the White House pink.
Although it did look pretty in pink and give off a lovely glow.
It’s about our Moms, our sisters, our friends, our own lives. And let’s talk turkey, mammograms really blow. But we have to do it. We have to feel our boobies up at least once a month ourselves, or hire a professional, stat.
New idea for a freelance job: Boobie feeler-upper! Ride around all day in a white truck with a pink ribbon on the side and stop at women’s houses and give them an exam! Hmmm…maybe that’s creepy. But it would boost the economy. Like, big time.
Oh, someone tried that and he’s in prison? Forget I said anything. Just thinking out loud. Spitballing.
The truth is, the mammogram place is majorly depressing. I try to schedule it early in the morning, so I’m not really awake until it’s over. My boob is squished as flat as a pancake. What? Is there coffee?
The once a month exam, just do it once a week in the bath or in the shower, don’t schedule it or put any mental pressure on it. Just my two cents.
In my twenties, I would use lotion and lie back on the bed and draw myself a chart so I would remember any place I felt something. Can you say paranoid? I would have a heart attack and “find something” every time.
Now I just do it when I’m soaped up. Or holding pumpkins. This is not actually me…
I barely think about it. You have to feel under your arms, too, any woman who’s ever been pregnant knows that is some form of breast tissue under there.
I don’t know, I’m not a doctor, when I say I am a doctor I am being silly and it usually involves squirrels, but I heard that underarm tip on TV once. I think it was The View. Thanks, Barbara Walters!
We need a little humor around this stuff. Save second base! Save the Ta Tas! Otherwise it can get all seewious up in hee-ya.
Okay, man, I am gonna be serious for a second.
I prayed to God on my knees to save my Mom’s life when I found out that she had breast cancer.
I bargained. I said If God gave me this one thing, just let my Mom live, I would be a good person for the rest of my life.
Well, we all know that didn’t work out as planned, but my intentions were sincere. There is that.
And my Mom got treatment and she lived. So I can call and whine and complain to her about how many ways she messed up as a parent. Because all parents mess up their kids in different ways.
I know I am so lucky to be able to call my Mom. Even when I don’t call her, just knowing I can. That is a lot. It’s so much. I love her so much.
And there is only one reason I can do that and it’s because of EARLY DETECTION. The key to most cancers being curable is early detection. You don’t want to hear the words stage four. There is no stage five.
So please do the boring, sucky checks. Or somebody get that truck business going! You can take the idea. I’m a giver. I don’t know how to take.
When I got married, My Mom came to our wedding, getting on a plane with my stepfather Edmund just three days after 9/11. And when she told me she was going home late in the evening, before my wedding reception was quite over, we hugged and said goodnight. And a few minutes later I started running.
I sprinted in my high heels and ivory silk princess shaped bridal ballgown out of the reception and across the bridge of the Hotel Bel Air as a strange man remarked What a beautiful sight…
And I ran to hug my Mom one last time.
I called her Mommy because even though I was thirty one years old, she will always be my Mommy.
The other day, Bexon jumped up and down when I walked into the room and shouted I have a Mommy! I have a Mommy!
For all of the Mommies who are still with us and for those precious Mamas who have passed…until we meet again. I am sure she insisted that God make her your angel. And the angel for your babies. I know it.
I’m so grateful.