To Breathe Should Not Be Discriminatory
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Dedication



I still can’t believe our mother is no longer here. No more talks, No more laughs, No more hugs and kisses, No More...

It’s hard to grasp the mindboggling concept of life, where we think “Here today gone tomorrow.” These words are beyond the truth when life and circumstances come into play. I guess I’m in that gullible state to think… This kind of stuff happens to other people.

Our mom a woman of strength and strong determination- her tenacity and ability  to forgive was special.

Our beautiful mother smiled through many of life’s curveballs and her heart was genuine. For myself I loved her even more deeply as I too got older. As you get older you need that empress to continually tell you everything will be fine. Mommy was a true cheerleader and very wise woman. Her strong thoughts on various subjects you had to respect them, and her reasoning as to why she felt what she felt.

I saw my mom cry a few times in my life, but one I can remember clearly that showcased the strongest and deepest outpour came when one of her very close friends died a few years back from cancer. My mother was inconsolable.

This may have been the 2nd time I can recall seeing her in that state, and not being able to do anything. Nothing hurts more than seeing a loved one go through something and there’s nothing you can physically do to re-confirm it will be okay. I felt this yet again - exactly useless when mommy was bound to a bed with a tube implanted in her throat.

I have a picture in my office which my mother gave me about 3 years ago. She’s laughing and posing outside at one of the schools she worked as a Bus Matron for pre-school children. She loved those kids even the ones that worked her nerves, sometimes it was comforting to hear her stories with the little babies that tried to pronounce her name which always came out as “URSHA”, I always smiled at the stories and think she would make a wonderful grandmother… What took my husband and me so long to start our family? It’s not fair to not have her take part on something as precious as that. Eartha loved kids and she was full with love for my brother Brian and me.

Our story is no different from so many who have been affected by cancer. Cancer doesn’t care about your being young, old, or a different race. This is one disease that treats us all the same…

Well, maybe not in the case of lung cancer… This is one disease where some people have unfair thinking and believe it’s a smoker’s disease, and that’s what happens when you smoke, I guess that may be the case as cigarettes are a huge factor in the disease, but it also affects about 10- 15% of non-smokers today. So is a non-smoker more important than a smoker? At the end of the day what does it really matter? Should it matter that my mom did smoke on and off in her lifetime? No it shouldn’t considering her life was just as important to her family and friends as those affected in any other type of cancer, and the family who are left without their loved one. We tend to have a warped understanding on cancer and its affects. It shouldn’t matter what the person did so much and yes as adults we know better so we should do better; at times that can be easily said than done. I won’t argue the fact that mommy could have done things differently, at the end of the day she is gone, she is no more and we hurt every day, but if it wasn’t lung cancer would it have been something else in this toxic world we eat, breath, live in?

The bottom line is we all hurt in the loss of a lung cancer victim because their stories (many they are) get less attention because the smokers stigma distorts sympathy. How profound is that statement?



Eartha “Mae” we so miss you and may one day we meet again.

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