Step-moms are supposed to be wicked, but Carol wasn’t. I can’t remember her without a smile or without a kind word. When she and my dad, Ron, got married, I was already grown and out of the house, but Carol would call and invite me to visit. She let me know how my father was doing. She helped me understand him in ways I never had. She took the time to learn about him, his family, and his time serving in Vietnam. “I read a book about children of alcoholics. It describes your dad to a ‘t.’ Then there was Vietnam,” I remember her saying.
When Ron married Carol, she had already faced two bouts of breast cancer. About seven years into their marriage, the cancer reemerged. After years of fighting, Carol lost her life . . . but the cancer didn’t win. Carol believed in God. She was a craft person, and the last thing she worked on was a cross stitch of Jesus’ face. She started the cross stitch with his eyes, and even though they were made of fabric and thread, they held an unexplainable depth.
My dad was there when Carol died. The cross stitch was, too. During her last conscious moments, she pointed to Jesus face and then smiled and pointed to the space beside her bed. I believe she was telling my dad that Jesus was right there. The truth is, Jesus is always right there . . . death simply gave her a chance to see Him.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Two important women in my life have battled breast cancer: my step-mom and my friend Margaret McSweeney. Because of this, I’m participating in the Strength of 1 campaign. Freschetta pizza is hoping to make a difference in the lives of the victims and survivors of breast cancer by encouraging those with breast-cancer stories to share them during their Strength of 1 campaign. The winning stories will receive cash donations to the cause affiliated with the stories.
Now through October 12, you can enter your story on the Strength of 1 app on Facebook, or visit Freschetta’s Facebook page. I’d love to see as many of you participate and support those who are battling breast cancer.