I was browsing through Facebook earlier this evening when I saw a post published from a town nearby. It showed the decorations and banner a family had put up memorializing their daughter as part of the Turn The Towns Teal campaign for ovarian cancer awareness.
I looked at the date on my computer and it hit me. Ten years ago, tonight, we sat vigil with my mom as she lost her battle with that cancer. Usually I am hyper-aware of this approaching date. I remember most everything about that night - what we ate for dinner, talking with the hospice nurse, sitting quietly with mom, holding her hand.
Somehow, this year, it snuck up on me. Maybe that is good. Rather than being focused on when and how she died, after ten years it is more important to remember how Mom lived.
She was kind. Not nice, but kind. Nice tells people what they want to hear. Kind tells them what they need to hear, with gentleness and love. Mom built relationships with people and saw the good in them, even when they couldn't find it themselves. She wasn't one to be taken advantage of, but was generous with her time and talent. She showed, through example, how to be a good wife, a good mother, sister and friend.
I love when we think of her, we remember her good traits and forget the bad. It reminds me to work on those things that are true, good and beautiful so that someday, ten years after my passing, people will smile and do the same.