To Love Life

By Joseph J. Mazzella • August 15, 2016

During the last four years of her life my Mom fought a valiant but losing battle against cancer. During that time she lost her health, her hair, and 40 pounds. She was in and out of the hospital more times than I could count. In the end as her life's energy ebbed away we all gathered at her bedside and said goodbye. She was only 55 years old.

For a long while after her death I was depressed and angry at God. My own health broke down and I contracted double pneumonia. In time my body healed and my heart as well. It was the love of my children that finally pulled me out of my despair and helped me to begin to live again. Still, I continued to ask God why my Mom had to die so young.

It was only years later that I began to see clearly what my Mom had done in those last four years of her life. While cancer was beating her body, it certainly wasn't beating her soul. In her last four years here my Mom lived as she had never lived before. Even with cancer she worked outside of our home and touched the lives of her co-workers with her gentle humor and kind spirit. She reconnected with old friends that she hadn't seen in years and made special memories with each one of them. She and my Dad grew closer in those last four years than I had ever seen them before. There was a love and a tenderness between them that touched us all. Mom was there for me and my two brothers as well. During her time with us she brightened our souls with her love and she helped us to grow strong enough to go on without her.

In her last four years my Mom completed her mission here. She showed us how to love God. She showed us how to meet death. She showed us that fear always flees in the face of joy. She showed us that to live life is to love life, no matter how much pain you have and no matter how much time you have left. Thanks Mom! I will always love you.

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