My mother taught me to always be brave and persevere. She was a child in Frankfurt, Germany during WWII and endured. She came to America, a young unwed mother to join the baby's father, only to become the wife of a violently abusive man. She taught herself the english language and struck out on her own with four small children. Later, she married a wonderful man and had two more children, myself and my brother. There were financial struggles. My father was a loving man, but an alcoholic. She never bemoaned her life. She loved that man and gave her heart and soul to him. After taking care of my father while emphysema took the life from him, my mom was given a diagnosis of bladder cancer. She took this diagnosis in stride and faced treatment head-on. Ten years ago, not long after her sucessful treatments were finished, she was faced with open heart surgery. She went into it fearlessly. Although she did not survive that surgery, again, she taught me to face fear with grace.
I am now, at age 52, waiting for a kidney transplant. I had no idea I was in kidney failure. I have always been healthy, and had routine physicals and doctor visits. I have always taken excellent care of my health. A routine blood test revealed kidney failure in December. Within 3 weeks, I was told I must have a kidney transplant to survive. I have had only a short time to adjust to this, but I promised myself I will apporach it with the grace and bravery I witnessed in my mother. As I await my transplant, and search for a living donor, I am inspiried by my mother every day. Every time I think I can't fight this disease any longer, every time I feel too sick to go on, I think of her and her unending strength and perseverance. There is no bravery without fear. I am sure my mother was afraid for most of her life. Although, she never showed it. All I ever saw was bravery and preseverance. I will be brave. I will persevere. For I am my mother's daughter!