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Show your mother you care

This past Christmas I was able to spend a little time with one of my oldest friends, Becky.

It was the first time we had spoke in person in years, but it was nice to catch up. She had been living in South Korea for about a year or so teaching at an elementary school. It was fun hearing about her travels around Asia and adapting to life immersed in a completely different culture.

She and I have known each other since preschool, and as we discussed recently, our friendship probably began because she said, “We’re going to be friends now.”

And it was so.

Our families went to the same church and we had a lot of the same teachers throughout elementary school. We spent the night at each other’s homes at least a couple of times a month.

We were best friends, inseparable.

We did drift apart eventually, as friends tend to do sometimes. We found our own interests and new friends, but we always remained static figures in each other’s lives.

She took a place by my side when my mother passed away without me even having to call her. She just knew, as on old friend, I needed the support.

Last weekend, when I took a trip home to visit my family, I knew it was my turn to show my support for her.

Her mother, Anne, was losing her fight against cancer. My grandmother had kept me somewhat updated, so I knew she was sick, but I had no idea how quickly she was declining.

Anne had breast cancer a few years back, but recently, it came back in a bad way. Spreading into her lungs, kidneys and brain, she didn’t have much time left.

I wanted to let Becky know I was thinking of her and praying for her, so I sent a brief message, not wanting to burden her with questions.

She insisted I come see her mother while I was in town and I did.

Anne was spending her final days at home under hospice care. She was in a morphine sleep surrounded by her siblings, cousins, two daughters and husband, John.

It was shocking to see her so frail; I barely recognized her. It broke my heart to see everyone carrying so much pain for her, especially John.

I spent so much time at their home when I was a child, Anne and John were probably my first and ultimately best example of a truly loving couple. Since my parents were divorced, I had no real role models to look towards to know what a good relationship was supposed to be like.

Anne and John were it, the ultimate team. I always new I’d be so lucky if I ended up with someone who loved me as much as they loved each other.

Anne died on Wednesday.

While I can’t get back to North Carolina for the funeral, I’ve been in touch with Becky and I know she has a strong support system to help her through.

Today being Mother’s Day, I always think about my own mother and how much I miss her. I know my friend will probably do the same.

Today, give your mother a hug and tell her how much she means to you. Or, if you’re like me, reach out to the other women in your life who are always there when you need them and tell them what a blessing they are.


Michelle Goodman is the news editor at The Tribune. To reach her, call 740-532-1441 ext. 12 or by email at michelle.goodman@irontontribune.com.