Posted on May 08, 2015 |
As Mother’s Day approaches, one of the COPD Foundation’s fearless fundraisers Jennifer Cowgill reflects on what the holiday means to her. Jennifer lost her mother, Marla, to COPD and recently published a cookbook commemorating her. Jennifer is a strong advocate for COPD awareness and education. The following blog post was written in Jennifer’s words.
Mother’s Day is that special day which celebrates the person who brought you into this world. It has always been important for me to honor and love my Mom every day, not just on the holiday.
I grew up with a Mom who gave a type of love that was self sacrificing. She always loved without expecting anything in return. Mom was in every way possible, the truest friend I ever had. Whenever life’s trials became heavy or unexpected, she was always there for me. Mom always gave me warmth, comfort, reassurance, and memories. She was my anchor, my best friend, my biggest fan, and consistently supported my decisions in life. I didn’t always appreciate my mother like I should have growing up because I took her for granted. It is funny how growing up can make you realize how important your mom is and how no one could ever love you quite like Mom.
Every Mother’s Day I would ask her what she wanted and every Mother’s Day she would respond, “Just make me something honey. A handmade gift from you is better than anything you could get at the store.” As instructed, I gathered my crayons, construction paper, and anything else I could find that I could make her a gift. Once I had everything I thought I needed, I would go to work making a card. It was always hard to understand why she didn’t want jewelry or something fancy. My mom loved whatever I made of course. She treasured everything so much she kept every single thing I ever made for her inside her nightstand beside her bed.
2012 was the last Mother’s Day I shared with my mom. Her disease had progressed to a point where she was in the restorative care hospital for a period of time. I lived out of town so my husband and I decided to drive up and visit for Mother’s Day. You should have seen her face when she saw us! She was so happy! She was excited to show us all the improvements the restorative care had done for her health. Her health appeared to be getting better because she was able to use the stationary exercise bike at physical therapy. I will never forget her face when she looked at me while on the exercise bike. There was a new spark inside her- hope. We spent the entire day with her just talking and watching everything she was able to accomplish. We shared her favorite meal, Chick Fil A and her favorite drink, Chick Fil A sweet tea with “extra, extra ice and a slice of lemon.” Of course they never put enough ice for her, so we brought her a small cup of ice just because. Even though it was our last Mother’s Day together, it was the best, most memorable one.
Since I’ve become a mother to little Sophia, everything has changed. Instead of being loved unconditionally, I’m the one who is giving the love. I love my daughter so much. I truly understand what it feels like to have your heart walk the earth. Now I look at Mother’s Day as a reminder of how lucky I am to be able to share this time with Sophia. I now understand and honestly appreciate why my mother loved Mother’s Day so much.
Unfortunately, my mom died from COPD before she could see her only granddaughter born. I wish she could watch her grow up and do all the amazing things she’s doing today. I wish I could turn to her for advice when it gets hard or I have questions. Whenever I get sad, I look back and am so grateful for all the memories Mom and I shared. As a mom today, I look forward to all the great times and memories Sophia and I will be able to create. Being the loving mother that she was, I know my mom is in heaven looking down, continuing to watch over us as only a mother could.
Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms past, present, and future!
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