Have you noticed that Philly is looking a little more feminine these days? Burst of hot pink decorate the Eagle’s uniforms, highlight the skyline, and run up and down the Cira Center. In case you’re not aware of the ‘Think Pink’ movement, it’s October—which means it’s breast cancer awareness month.
I truly appreciate the cities, NFL, different foundations, and individuals who are making breast cancer awareness more prevalent in everyone’s daily lives because, it could help save a friend, mom, sister, or father one day. This month hits home for Eric and I because four years ago around this time, we found out his mom, Marcia, had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Thanks to early detection, she was able to start chemotherapy early, even though the cancer was looking pretty serious. She was a trooper through the process of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and news that things weren’t going exactly as planned. After months of fear, Momma Doc was in the clear, and life went back to normal for this inspiring fighter of a woman. She started talking to other woman going through the same process—helping them, guiding them, and supporting them. The entire process gave me a new perspective on life; that there’s no reason to dwell on things when life can be so short and delicate.
We had been given another year and a half of healthy, bubbly, lively Marcia when she slowly became ill again. After multiple tests and procedures, we were informed that the cancer had returned with a vengeance. This time, it moved to her esophagus and greatly affected her love for singing, socializing, and physically weakened her. And eventually, it took her from us last September.
Eric and I think of her constantly, but especially when there’s something going on that would have put her in her ideal environment: She was a social butterfly; she would remember your favorite dessert, color, month, and all the things that would bring a smile to your face. She would have loved to be at our wedding. But since she physically will not be there, we want to include something so that everyone there thinks of her and remembers her that day.
I’ve seen this approached different ways—sometimes it’s an empty seat with a flower on it, reminding guests of that person’s presence. Sometimes it’s a picture on a table near the guest book, trying to balance remembrance with not dwelling on their absence. Our wedding day will be a happy day, no doubt about it, and sometimes tears can be because of joy and happiness. So, I’m all right with letting some go that day, whether it’s out of joy, or maybe a little sadness because I’m missing my mother-in-law.
How are you planning to honor a loved one the day of your wedding? Or how did you do that?