One Wish

One Wish

May10-1She’s the only one I ever knew.  The one person that believed in me when everyone else had doubts.  She was the person that felt I could do no wrong, and even when I did she still loved me unconditionally.  She let me know I was special, intelligent, gifted and beautiful.  And she loved to brag on my accomplishments.  She was proud to see me flourish and find my way.  And then May 23, 2001 came.  That’s the day my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer.  In addition to fighting the disease, my mother’s main worry was what would happen to me – her only child.

I didn’t know until years later, but my mother initially kept a journal of her battles with ovarian cancer.  She also talked about overcoming different obstacles.  And then one day, she stopped writing.  The same day she stopped writing in her journal, is the day I moved out of her house and into my own apartment.   I never knew that my move affected her.

For the five years she battled cancer our relationship blossomed.  I made sure I took one day each week to spend the night at her house.  As her health declined I stayed more nights.  As I saw her become more weak, yet still look elegant and a symbol of strength, I knew there were many questions I always wanted to know.  So, I had someone interview her and discuss things like how she met my father, why she chose our church and what advice she has to offer me.  I cherish that video.

My mother passed away on May 23, 2006.  I was at peace with her death because she and I had a special bond that still lives within me.  Since my mother’s death I have made it my mission to give back to the Louisville community in the same way my parents did.  If you knew my mother, she was definitely one of God’s angels sent to make a difference on everyone that came in her path.  And while I will never be Dr. Lillian Yeager, I will continue to strive and make my own personal mark.

This Mother’s Day I ask everyone to do one thing.  Make amends with the ones you love.  We can’t pick our relatives but we can definitely support them and let them know we care. So often we think so much about ourselves and hold grudges against people that have caused us harm.  Realize, though, that nobody is perfect and tomorrow isn’t promised.  Ask anyone that has lost a parent, sibling or child that they never made amends with.   It’s a feeling that can haunt you and one that you can’t reverse.  So this Mother’s Day, reach out to someone and tell them you love them.  Maybe you’ll call your brother that you haven’t talked to all year.  Why not send your childhood friend a text message just to say hello.  And even though you and your mother may fight like cats and dogs (or maybe your father was never there for you) – reach out and show you care.

M.Y.  May 2010

It’s All Relative

It’s All Relative!

Nov09-4This weekend I went to an early Thanksgiving dinner with some of my family that came in town.  It was an interesting event because it wasn’t really my immediate family, but more of my family’s family (on the other side).

To my surprise, I received a Facebook message from James Bentley asking if we were related because he’d be attending the same event.  I knew Louisville was small, but was it really that small to now we are all related to each other?

See, my father T. Steve Yeager had a brother named Philip.  My uncle Philip married Juanita Gibson.  Aunt Juanita had a brother named Joe.  Joe married a lady named Tilly (my father was the best man in their wedding).  Tilly has a sister named Margaret.  Margaret’s son is James Bentley.  WOW-O-WOW!!!  So why we are technically not blood relatives, we are all part of one big, diverse family!

The event was held at James’  fire station.  James pretty much cooked all the food for almost 50 people, and let me tell you – THE BROTHA CAN COOK!!!  We had all the fixings you could imagine and the turkey just melted in your mouth.  I heard his wife Adrayna is just as much a champion chef!

I always get a little down during the holidays because I miss my family traditions and aren’t yet in a point in my life where I’ve started to create new ones.  However this weekend showed me that love and family exist in many ways.  The day before this event, my office had our Thanksgiving lunch catered from Huber’s.  It’s always great to kick it with the work crew.  I’ve learned to appreciate every Thanksgiving opportunity.  This holiday season, please remember those with little family or friends around.  Invite them to join you – it may be a small gesture from you, but it could mean the world to them!

Happy Thanksgiving!

M.Y.  November 2009



I have a secret to tell you (it’s between you and me – please don’t share it with anyone else).  As you know, my last name is Yeager.  Since the beginning of time, I have grown accustomed to being at the end.  In school, my desk was the very last desk in the last row. When registering for conferences, my name tag was last. There was no need to flip through pages when voting, just go to the last page.  I became kinda territorial over my last name and placement in line.  I HAD TO BE LAST!  There was no pride in being 3rd, 4th or 5th from the bottom.  I hated going somewhere and there being a Greg Zitak or a Rose Young.

Toward the end of my junior year in high school, I realized that I would not graduate last from my class all because of guy named Marc Zorio.  How dare he! Who does he think he is? I was hurt.  My future graduation day would be ruined.  I had to do something.  I didn’t know the guy, so I didn’t want to bring him any harm.  He made it this far so I doubt he would fail his senior year.  Although graduation was a year away I had to devise a plan.  So what did I do?  I ran for Senior Class President!!  Why, you ask?  Because the Sr. Class President gets to receive the first diploma and graduate first!!!!   For my election speech I talked about bringing the class together for our most memorable yet and how I was fully dedicated.

I did become Sr. Class President and did actually enjoy the position….. but most importantly I walked with my head held high at the front of my class as I lead the procession of Waggener High School’s Class of 1994!

M.Y.  July 2007