Most of us moms say that we would die for our children, but few of us are ever called upon to do so. Becky had a choice to make--fight her cancer and have a chance at life with her husband and daughter or give birth to a healthy child. She chose her unborn child, and Becky died soon after Ben's birth.
Becky is a hero to me. I never knew her, but I went to high school with her husband Gary. We were buddies then, but we lost touch over the years, and only renewed our friendship about eight years ago through classmates.com. When Gary told me Becky's story, I cried for her and for her children. I felt awe for this brave, loving, selfless woman.
Becky was happily married and pregnant with her second child. She had a young daughter named Maija, who she loved with all her heart. One day, Becky felt pain in her leg. She and her doctor thought sciatica, which so many pregnant women get, but the doctor decided to run some extra tests to be sure. Cancer was the diagnosis. I can only imagine the thoughts that raced through Becky's mind. So little time to think because a decision had to be made quickly, and there would be no time for second guessing.
What made me think of Becky today? Well, actually I've been thinking about her all weekend, thinking about how proud she would be. Her Maija has grown into a lovely women, who I've had the pleasure of spending time with twice over the years, and she graduated magna cum laude from college this weekend with her proud papa and loving brother watching. All weekend, I kept imagining Becky as a strong, though invisible, presence at the graduation, her eyes full of joyful tears at the delightful, charming, intelligent, caring adults her children have become. I imagine her happy pleasure with Gary, who honored her trust in him as the man she chose to marry by shouldering the mantle of single parent, and with the help of Becky's family, raised his two children with grace and unwavering love, even though his heart was broken by the much too early death of his beloved wife.
So, today, I raise my glass to Becky and toast her with all the love in my heart from one mother to another, and I bow my head to her in humility. Becky was one very special mom; she gave the ultimate gift of love, her life for her son's, and her unselfish, unconditional love shines on in the world through her daughter Maija and her son Ben.
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