I was enjoying a wonderful recovery day earlier this week when I found my mind wondering to something I tend to think about in some detail at least once a day: my mother. March 12th marked her birthday, and while my family shared a quick email exchange in remembrance of all the gifts she brought us, I tend to spend a good bit of time enjoying some of the most memorable moments I shared with this incredible lady.
As I write this, the Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom all around the greater Washington, DC area. These pink flowers take over the city for about a week every year, and with them come some my fondest memories of my mother (I hold a tribute to this tattooed on my back, clearly very meaningful to me). While the majority of people hang down by the Jefferson Memorial, a lot of the locals know that the Kenwood neighborhood in Bethesda, MD is far and beyond one of the most beautiful sights one can witness. Each year around this time I would meet up with my mother and we’d take the short drive down to Kenwood. We’d find a parking spot somewhere off the main drag and proceed to walk around the flowing pick streets and the massive houses hiding behind the trees. We’d talk about what might be in the fancy houses, we'd talk about nature and how things came to be; we’d talk about health and life, and, we’d just walk, silently and peacefully. The very last time we walked these streets, I distinctly remember one small portion of it. At this point, her around seven-year battle with cancer had worn her down to a scrawny 90 or so pounds. Her spine was more crooked then the branches of those trees, and by any normal doctors diagnosis, she should probably have been strapped to a bed and pumped full of medication. But, she was outside, in the breeze, in the fresh spring air. She had this contagious smile, the one she wore more commonly than any other face. Up to this point she clung to my arm for support, but she suddenly released from that support and took a few step away from me. A strong breeze blew through and just like that we were surrounded by millions of floating and fluttering cherry blossom petals. My mom raised her hands and just started spinning around. For a moment I thought I’d have to rush over to catch her from toppling over, but nope, she just twirled around in the blizzard of pedals. Timeless.
Another story I often recall is when I visited her while she was staying in a small little town in Belgium for what ended up being a pretty long time. I was only able to stay there for a couple days, but in that short amount of time we ended up walking a 3-mile trail around the town, 3 TIMES! I think about this most commonly when I am struggling for motivation to do something, or, when I am dealing with the frustration of the inactivity of the majority of our country. On one had, we have millions of people who struggle with weight issues and easily reversible health concerns. They just choose to eat crap food and do nothing in their spare time. And on the other hand you have this woman: 3 different types of cancer, a scare or two of stage-four cancer in there; a disintegrated spine, osteoporosis and a handful of other major issues, and yet she still finds it not just necessary, but ENJOYABLE to head out for a 3-mile walk, twice a day. She understood that the best way to health and happiness was eating well, smiling as often as possibly, and being active!
Those are just a couple stories amongst an endless supply that inspire me each and every day. She was a damn great lady and I miss her like crazy. I hope that I can have children that look up to me like I do my parents, and I am thankful for having had a mother that taught me so much, and a father who supports and motivates me just as much.
Now it’s off to the gym for my final attempt at the Sectionals Workout!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Get Discounts Below!