I get to celebrate my birthday, May 26, this year on Memorial Day – how fitting! My mother passed away two years ago on May 23 (three days before my 30th birthday). So, for the past two years as my birthday has neared, I’ve also had the blessing of remembering my mother’s life.
If you knew my mother, you knew she was dedicated to the community and giving back to others. She didn’t care about your age, race or sex – to sit down with her for five minutes made you feel as if you were the most important person around. I’ve now decided to remember her life each year by giving back to others.
Last year I had two skating parties to raise funds for both St. George’s Community Center and the KY Center for African American Heritage. I also hosted a luncheon at my work to inform my colleagues, friends and others about Ovarian Cancer.
This year I did a little something different. My mother was involved in a cancer support group called Ovarian Awareness of KY (OAK). Many of the people that were there when my mother was alive are still survivors in the group. I decided to give back to each of them and thank them simply for being wonderful people. Yesterday, I sponsored a tea for 25 volunteers, survivors and their caregivers at La Tea Da at Dolfingers. It was such a joyous experience and each lady was treated like a queen. I also made a small angel to give to each woman and let them know that although times may be tough and sometimes they feel like nobody cares about them, they have made a difference in my life and are angels in my eyes and others. The angel was small, so I asked them to place it in their wallet. The next time they are feeling down, I suggested they get it out to remind themselves that they are special and do make a difference.
Although birthdays are supposed to be about celebrating your own life (don’t worry I will try to find the perfect piece of dessert to indulge), we also need to take that time to celebrate the people that helped get us where we are today!
M.Y. May 2008