“I brought you into this world, and I could take me out.”
“You’ll miss me when I’m gone!”
“Make good choices.”
“Be careful” -Helen DiLemme
I always knew that my mother cared for me so incredibly much, but this experience of needing two open heart surgeries has really allowed Helen’s motherly instincts kick into high gear. Maybe she missed doing these duties because my brothers are adults now. I moved to California in 2006, leaving behind all of my family and friends. I know this made her sad to a certain degree, but she knew that living here and making my own life for myself is what would make me happy, so she embraced it and always told me how proud she was of me. Of course she occasionally says, “You should get a teaching job in New Jersey.”
She flew out here to care for me for the first 3 weeks of each surgery recovery (my dad did too, thanks Dad). She researches valve issues, she goes onto valvereplacement.org (valve forum), and she really knows her medical jargon. She knows how to talk me down when I’m freaking out about having a fast heart rate, PVC’s (a type of palpitation), or being worried about a million other things that come along with valve surgeries.
She fed me, she bought me anything that could maybe make me a little more comfortable (back massager, shoulder heater, pill boxes, medical supplies) during my recovery. She cleaned my entire house practically every day she was here.
She has done more for me in those two 3-week periods of surgery recoveries than anyone has in my entire life. Whenever I’m really feeling down, she figures it out and writes me an email to tell me how proud she is of me to go through this experience. She just knows.
Thank you so much Mom. I know I went through the motions for previous Mother’s Days, and always told you I love you, and sent you flowers or something, but this year it’s different.
This year I truly appreciate you more than I ever have imagined. I know you worry about me being so far away, but I’m doing fine, and it really is thanks to you. I love you.
Your son, Anthony