Today I have a guest post for you. This post was written by by brother in law Justin. I asked him to write something to honor his mom Valerie. I didn't know her very well, but what I did know she was such a sweet lady with an even sweeter spirit. Have you ever met someone who just had this aura of love and happiness that you could feel? That was Valerie, she was someone who you immediately felt at ease with. I think Justin's words show perfectly how he and the rest of his family were able to stay strong through the hardest time of their lives. I want to thank Justin for writing this beautiful guest post, I love you!!!
My mother, lost her battle with cancer in July 2008. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. She was the most quiet, soft spoken person, but she had such a strong influence on so many people. The bible says that the meek will inherit the earth, and as selfless and loving as she lived, I believe she has everything to gain. When I remember the times we spent together, it reminds me to sit back, and enjoy life, and the people we share it with. She taught those around her not to sweat the small stuff, and how to always do the right thing, no matter what.
Six years after she had won her first battle the cancer returned. When we got the news I was crushed. It hit me like a giant weight just dropped on me. My heart sank, and I didn't feel the optimism I had in the years before. She started treatment again, and as the struggle continued I felt that I had to prepare for the worst. I thought that if it were to be our last months and weeks together there were things I wanted to say to her. Of course there are always more things you wish you would have said and done. That's one of the many hard things you have to accept.
I'll never forget the last time Dad took her to the emergency room. I got there before anyone else, and he told me she had accepted that it was her time. I walked in and asked how she was doing, but she didn't make small talk. She said, “Justin, I don't want to fight it anymore.” That moment was the most difficult I have ever endured. Looking back I don't know how I didn't fall apart right there. We spoke for a minute, then I left the room and I stood there alone looking around me. I realized what people mean when they say, “It was like it was all a bad dream.”
My mother left a great legacy. Not because so many people adored her, but because of the excellent example that she was. I don't know what she would say to you if she were here now, but I know what she would want me to tell you. Not how great her friends were, or how much she loved her family, but that the one thing she loved more than anything in her life on this earth, is Jesus Christ. And that the most important thing for you to know is that he loves you. She would want me tell you that she is in heaven, but only because she had a personal relationship with God. That he is the one and only way to heaven, and that because Jesus Christ died for all of our sins, we all can be forgiven. She would want you to know that God wants to have a personal relationship with you and to give you eternal life in heaven as well. It is because we know these things, and because we know that we will see her again in heaven, that we have peace.
That's the type of person my mother was. She was selfless, far more concerned with loving others, and showing them the love of Christ. She was an amazing inspiration, that will not be forgotten.
Valerie Jean McMillan
1/12/54 to 6/23/08
**In 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. Let's get that number higher!
*Women and men both please remember to do your self exams regularly. Click here for instructions on how to perform a self exam or ask your doctor to show you how it is done.
*Men can also get breast cancer, although the risk is much less it is still a risk that shouldn't be taken lightly.
**About 1,970 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men in 2010. Less than 1% of all new breast cancer cases occur in men.
Don't forget that you can help the fight against breast cancer, you can visit the Team Pink Eye donation page here and make a direct donation to Susan G Komen, any amount helps tremedously. You can also keep your eye on the Team Pink Eye Facebook page here or the blog here for an amazing group of bloggers and shop owners who have teamed up to raise awareness and money to find a cure. You will find awesome sales from different shop owners as well as weekly giveaways sponsored by the shop owners and hosted on several different blogs.
Don't forget to visit my review and giveaway here for a chance to win a gorgeous bracelet from the Charm Factory. This giveaway is not a part of the Team Pink Eye lineup, it is sponsored by Charm Factory.
** Denotes statistics taken from breastcancer.org
Peace, Love and Cupcakes