It is hard to believe that October is quickly approaching and this means National Breast Cancer Awareness Month will soon be here. I dread this month every year because breast cancer is in my face for 31 days straight. However, I understand the importance and am grateful for the strides we are making in research, early detection and saving lives. It's just a tough reminder of the terrible disease that took my mom. My mom passed away Thanksgiving morning 2005 at the age of 45 after a 9 month battle. She fought so hard! She wanted nothing more than to beat cancer and spend more time with her family. She couldn't wait to be a grandma one day.
Twelve years ago I ran my first Susan G. Komen Race in Virginia Beach. I ran in honor of the battle my mom, Laurene Tyson, was fighting and in memory of my Nana, Loretta Boitel, that died from breast cancer. Little did I know at that time that less than 6 weeks later my mom would lose her battle to breast cancer. This marks the 11 year anniversary of her passing and sometimes the pain is so raw that it feels like it was just yesterday.
I tried to always be strong for my mom. One afternoon I was home alone watching Oprah and she was interviewing family members who lost loved ones. They were still so deeply troubled after three years of losing their loved ones. I remember thinking, what if that was me? What if I couldn't handle this tremendous loss? I called my mom crying for the first time. She kept telling me that I had to be OK and she couldn't leave this world without me proming that I would be OK. She was so strong!
I think I've lived up to this promise; I think we all have. I know she would be so proud of her family. She would be the best Nana ever and love her four precious grandbabies with all her heart. My mom was more worried about everyone else handling her cancer than herself. She worried about her husband, two children and even her unborn grandbabies. She told me several times that I needed to tell my children (who were born 7 years after she died) that she loved them so very much.
Joe and I are running the Susan G. Komen Race in October with both kids, in memory of their grandmother. Hayden and Holden will never have the privledge of playing with their Grandma Tyson. She would have spoiled them rotten! She would have loved every minute of watching them grow, play and learn. She would have loved them to pieces; it would have been an incredible love to witness.
The best parts of me came from her and I hope to pass those on to my children. As I sit here to write this I have tears pouring down my cheeks but I can't help but feel happiness in my heart. I'm thanksful for everything she taught me and values she instilled in me. It's times like this that I remember she truly is always with me. She was strong, beautiful, silly, loving, brave and passionate. I often tell Hayden and Holden about their Nana Tyson in heaven and how much she loves them. I will miss my mom every single day that I spend here without her.
I hope that you can make a tax-deductible donation today in support of my fundraising efforts. Let's work to get rid of breast cancer so no other sweet babies have to grow up without their awesome grandmothers! Thanks for your support.