I remember that every year my sister and I would ask my mom what she wanted for mother’s day and every year she would look at us and say “I just want my house clean” So I would take a weekend and clean the house TOP to BOTTOM for her and she was just as happy as if we got her a million dollars.
My mom had Pulmonary Hypertension, in real people talk… she had a hole in her heart which caused her heart to work harder and she had lost capacity of her left lung. She had to use oxygen at night or basically anytime she was in the home. She had this oxygen machine that sat in the hallway and this long oxygen tube that allowed her basically walk the whole house. I remember my friends coming over to hang out and they would ask “what is that? What is wrong with your mom?” Most of the time I would get embarrassed in fear of being judged or gossiped about. I always had a desire to fit in and be liked by everyone so I never wanted this to sway that. I would look at them and say “you mean not every house has this?” just to joke it off. Later in High School I would just say matter a factly, “Oh my mom needs help breathing”
My mom would always be in her bed watching TV or reading. Which left me most of the time to do house work and cook. My dad was here and there, as an alcoholic and addict he never held down a steady job. My mom would have to work 2 sometimes 3 jobs to give my sister and I the best life she could provide.
When we would go to the store or the mall my mom would have to take short breaks walking to catch her breath. My sister and I would just walk and stop, we knew the pattern. That was our normal. Sometimes I will catch myself doing it still and then I will look around like “why am I stopped?” Its so true when the say old habits die hard.
Later when I was long out of High School, they came out with an oxygen tank that was light and easy to carry, so my mom carried that everywhere she went. People would stare and whisper when she walked by. I wanted to fight everyone who did it. My mom would simply say “Let them talk Ang, their life must be sad and boring if they have to talk about me” I think that this is why 80% of the time I don’t care what people think.
Having a mother with an illness has shaped a part of who I am today. God knew how this would affect my character and humble me. It taught me patience and tolerance. My favorite memory of my mom was one year we went to Disneyland (her favorite place next to San Francisco) and she was on a motorize scooter. She was so happy to zoom around from ride to ride. She would say “get out of my way or I will run you over” She came really close. Her favorite ride was Space Mountain and I still ride it for her every time I am there.
My mom had the rarest blood type AB Negative. I remember that she was looking into a possible heart and lung donor for a transplant. The doctors told her it was going to be difficult because of her blood type. There just isn’t enough donors he said defeated. If you know me, you know that giving blood every eight weeks is so important to me for this very reason. My husband Ray had O positive blood the most universal blood. He gives blood religiously and it means the world to me. I also told Ray that when I die part me out like a classic car and then burn the rest. If I could save a life of someone like my mother it is totally worth it, hey … I don’t need it anymore.
To know a little bit more about who my mother was check out my older blog … My Mom
I actually sat down to write about a different topic today but then I got an overwhelming case of missing my mom. I saw this picture and its something my mom said ALL.THE.TIME.
When I was a teenager I remember how much it would irritate me when she said “this too shall pass”. Now I long for her to say it again.
My mother has always been sick. She had pulmonary hypertension (basically a hole in her heart and lost use of one lung) She would always have to take breaks walking to places to catch her breath and in the later years carry an oxygen tank with her. She often mentioned how if she was healthy my sister and I wouldn’t be so fat because she would be active with us. Which was not the case at all it was probably because my sister and I would sneak junk food all the time. HEY we were kids!!!
My mother was my best friend, my number one cheerleader in life, she was my life coach and everything else in between. My mom was the best at giving advice on life. She has been gone for 13 years this Christmas and I miss her so much.
Tonight I had my personal training session and I was SO proud of myself. Just feeling so much stronger being able to do more than 5 squats, more than 2 push ups, just living a healthy active life. I got in the car and I really wanted to share this awesome journey with her, Because I know she would have been So SO so very proud of me too. God took her to heaven at a very early age of 49, but I know that she is looking down on me with a smile from ear to ear, cheering for me on the sidelines. And when I want to give up and not go anymore she is there giving me the extra push I need to fit in that extra lunge/squat/ whatever I need.
I am very blessed that God had tried to fill that void with awesome friends and mom mentors in my life. God knows our hearts and he knows what we need. He is always there to comfort us and love us unconditionally. I tried so many years to fill that void with food and it didn’t work
So I no longer do.
Heaven is your true home – Max Lucado
Miss you mom every.day.
In my weight loss journey I discovered that my friend Shasta was doing the same thing. Getting healthy, eating right, exercising, obtaining practically the same goals as I am. Its nice to have people to take your journey with so you aren’t alone and can relate to your struggles. On top of it Shasta is a single mom of a VERY awesome little girl Madi (short for Madisyn).
Once we realized that we were on the same road to a healthy life style, Shasta and I started to friend each other on Instagram & Myfitnesspal. Shasta has been very supportive, always encouraging me, pushing me, and sharing information. She always comments on how great my food looks when I post pictures on Instagram. She has been an awesome cheerleader and I am very blessed that God has put her in my life. She recently, all on her own, lost 100lbs! AMAZING … Most people can’t lose 10lbs let alone 100lbs.
Well as an amazing friend and cheerleader that she is, she was supporting another friend on Instagram and posted a picture of her most troubled area… her stomach. This is how great Shasta is – she went out of her own comfort zone to comfort someone else. With this she was mortified, in tears. She immediately saw all of her insecurities come to light – Stretch marks, hanging skin, fat, imperfect, damaged, embarrassed, disappointed, ashamed, the list can go on and on. She told me “All I see is fat, no guy will want me like this, I had no confidence when I was 100 lbs heavier and now I have even less”
But in reality EVERY comment on her picture was in line with my reaction- courage, mom, bravery, inspiring, loving, amazing, strong, hero, fearless, role model, again the list goes on. Never in my life have I heard or witnessed someone being negative about someone else for getting healthy or bettering their lives.
Why is it that its so easy to focus on the negative of ourselves when most everyone else in our lives sees the positive first? We all do this … I can tell you a million things I hate about myself, but most of it is physical. AND it all can be changed, fixed, worked on.
“The thing you are most ashamed of, God uses that to shape Christ in your heart” – Shawn C Beaty
This is true for me, for Shasta, for everyone. If you take the courage and jump head first, you will find people to catch you and be inspired by your willingness to overcome your shame, struggle, and heartache. Shasta had a very traumatic moment being vulnerable that day to help support a friend, but in the end she had over 105 comments on that picture. 105, people that she inspired, touched, and encouraged just by being courageous and jumping head first.
So I leave you with this exercise, as I started doing today …. When you first wake up, say one positive thing about yourself, whether its out loud, through social media, however, I promise, it will be contagious.