Four years and it doesn’t get any easier…
Yesterday was the four-year anniversary of my mother’s passing. March 24th will always be a tough day, but it’s also a day of remembrance and celebration of a great woman’s life. Perhaps I’m bias, but my mother was an amazing woman whose life was tragically cut short by a horrific disease. I’d be lying if I said that it gets easier with time, but it doesn’t. Losing a parent is never easy, especially at a young age. There was so much more that I wanted to learn from her and experiences to share.
I was lucky that I was close with my mother. For most of my life she was a stay-at-home mom and then as my sisters and I got older she began to work from home as a stitcher. She worked from dawn to dusk in what we dubbed as her “sweat shop.” Some of the things that she sewed were not her favorite, but she did it so she could afford my expensive lifestyle, aka my horses. She was the one that would wake up early in the mornings to walk down to the barn to feed and clean the horses stalls and often did evening feeds when I was busy with school work. She spent many years and thousands of dollars to cart me and my horses’ butts around New England to compete every weekend. Those are the days that I’ll never forget. Those are the days that I miss.
Honestly, what truly makes me sad is what my mother will miss as my sisters and I get older. She wasn’t there to attend any of our college graduations. She won’t be there as we shop for our wedding dresses or see us walk down the aisle. She won’t be there as we start families or give us parenting advice.
It sucks. There is no other way to describe it. I miss her everyday. But, life goes on. We must put our best foot forward everyday and live life to the fullest. We are placed on earth for a short time and I believe that it’s our responsibility to do something meaningful with our time and hopefully leave this planet a better place.
In the past few weeks some exciting news has been released about Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the disease that robbed my mother of her life. Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is a rare and fatal brain disorder. It occurs about one in a million persons worldwide and is 100% fatal. In the United States there is about 300 new cases each year. My mother was one of them in 2009. There are three types of CJD: sporadic CJD, familial CJD, and acquired CJD. CJD is caused by prions, which are an infectious agent composed of misfolded proteins. Recently, some great news came out of Case Western University, the hub of CJD research within the United States. Studies has indicated that prions might play an important role in iron metabolism in the brain. The researchers also have developed a new more accurate test for CJD through a spinal tap. This is a huge breakthrough. I know when my mother was diagnosed, it was done mainly through the process of elimination. One of the main problems we had with my mother was that her first MRI and tests all came back normal, but her second set of tests a few weeks later were positive. Of course, the blood and CSF samples from my mother that we sent to Case Western for testing didn’t come back until after she passed. For more information on CJD then please check out the CJD Foundation website: www.cjdfoundation.org.
I hope I’ve made you proud dear Mum
For there will never be another.
Cause there is no love greater,
Than a child has for their Mother.
RIP Mom <3