I guess if I had to sum up my birth-mother with a one liner, I’d have to write: ‘She is a survivor‘ — and leave it at that.
My mother came from good Arkansas farm stock. When she was seventeen she left her rural roots for the city. She never returned.
She never lacked for anything — as a child or as an adult — she has had a good and plentiful life; the few speed-bumps she encountered were the low ones you can fly over without much notice. Although, she might have a different opinion than I do.
I suspect we see our lives very differently than our children see our lives. If privileged to know all her secrets I might write a different story about my birth mother. I am not privileged therefore I can only write her life through my own experiences as I learned to know her; as she filled my consciousness with facts and speculation. One has to ask: do we ever truly know our parents — know precisely who they are at their core? My mother is so self protected from her only child which does not allow the knowledge I seek. So, I write as if I were a witness of but not a participant of her life.
Mother earned a Certificate of Merit & Appreciation from the staff at Good Sam North and got a few hugs before she left after her final radiation treatment for breast cancer — so, today the radiation treatments officially ended. She had 33 treatments over nearly seven weeks. But, mother is one of the fortunate ones, as far as breast cancer goes. And she knows it. Although her cancer was less than others I am not minimizing the effects that the word cancer has on the human psyche because mother suffered little distress does not mean she was not suffering. We all suffered a little bit right along with her, but mother is lucky. Suffering only from a deep sunburn and peeling, minor tiredness and a sore throat isn’t welcome but it is not close to what some women endure and she knows it. We are all grateful — to the doctors and nurses who daily amaze.