In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. ~José Narosky
Yesterday, while looking at the “Memories” feed on my Facebook page, I stopped scrolling when I came across a post from November 13, 2013; my post that day was a “check-in” at the California Cancer Center in San Mateo followed by three words: “The battle begins.”
Odd that that memory showed up on Veteran’s Day (“Remembrance Day” as my British Mom called it) a day that honors those who fought in the war and the date World War I finally ended.
Five years ago, that November 11th may have marked the 95th anniversary of the end of World War I but for our family, it was the beginning of our own battle, a battle that didn’t involve heavy weaponry and a battlefield, but rather faith and prayers as my Mom started her first round of chemotherapy.
My Mom was a strong soldier in her war against cancer; I was merely her Battle Buddy marching along with my family and friends to help support her from that first day of chemo to those final days at home with Hospice. In the end, cancer won.
I scrolled down the feed some more: A check-in at Palo Alto Players on November 11, 2012, “You Can’t Take it with You – a great comedy and a great day to be out with my Mom.”
I remember laughing with her at that PAP performance and how much we loved our season tickets to the Sunday matinees. That memory was the last year she and I attended all the performances in the season: the following year, she was too ill or too tired from chemo and unable to attend. After she died, I canceled our subscription; after 20 years of season tickets, attending without her wasn’t the same.
My finger swiped down again. November 11th seemed to be a day of connection for my Mom and me: the next memory that showed up on the feed was a Friendiversary reminder, reminding me that she and I were celebrating 6 years of friendship. The picture of my Mom with her famous smile and her energy radiates in the photo, the last photo I shared and tagged her in. Some of my friends posted “You are the image of her, Karen” and others commented “Two beautiful women, a lifetime apart.” I have to admit, that photo takes my breath away.
I am grateful for this last Facebook memory, it helps me forget the worst part of her cancer and those final days. Instead, I find joy seeing her as I remember her in her prime, long before cancer came along.
Yesterday may have been Veteran’s Day but for me, it is truly Remembrance Day.